One-on-one interview: Mark Mainwaring of Taylor Wimpey Manchester
Marc Da Silva continues his series of interviews with leading housebuilding figures by speaking to Mark Mainwaring, managing director of Taylor Wimpey Manchester.
Where in Greater Manchester is your firm developing new homes?
Taylor Wimpey Manchester is currently undertaking schemes across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and the Lancashire region; with some exciting new developments commencing shortly in Rochdale, Bolton, Salford and Wigan.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas?
We continue to witness a healthy demand for new homes across the whole of our operating area, which is reflective of the national position. The first quarter of this year has been particularly strong for us with high visitor levels to our developments. This has been driven by better access to mortgages at more affordable rates, which has improved with increased competition between mortgage providers. This, together with the extension of Help to Buy, has given more customers both the confidence and the ability to step onto or move up the housing ladder.
What types of properties is your firm developing?
Broadly speaking, in Greater Manchester we cater for the first-time buyer and small to medium sized family housing markets. Of course the type of site, location and local demand ultimately determines the mix of homes we offer.
What projects is Taylor Wimpey Manchester working on and what's in the development pipeline?
We are currently working on a varied selection of projects ranging from the large redevelopment of former industrial sites in Bickershaw and Northwich to the smaller semi-rural developments in Clitheroe and Rossendale.
Each site is unique and presents its own challenges when formulating development proposals. Some of the larger projects include marinas and commercial outlets within our development plans, so there are some really unique and exciting schemes in the pipeline.
How much does a new home by Taylor Wimpey Manchester typically cost to buy?
A typical three-bedroom house would cost in the order of £150,000 and a four-bedroom detached house can be purchased for less than £220,000.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new build home as opposed to older property?
One of the biggest perks of buying a new build is to reduce energy consumption and therefore heating bills. Not only that, but it takes away the uncertainty and risk sometimes associated with buying an older property which will inevitably require significant work undertaken.
Ultimately, we are often able to provide a buying experience which the second hand market cannot compete with, which gives buyers peace of mind. Through our schemes like Part Exchange and Easy Mover, existing homeowners can enjoy a pain-free selling process.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction?
It's entirely circumstantial. We often see customers who wish to secure a specific house type on a specific part of the development and therefore they may buy off-plan early. Whereas other customers prefer to wait until the development is more established before committing to buy a new home. We have the benefit of having a varied selection of showhomes across our ‘patch'and so we can usually demonstrate a specific house type to our customers so they know exactly what they are getting.
What is Taylor Wimpey's USP?
The key thing that sets us apart is our appetite and desire to add value in everything we do, from formulating our development proposals and treating our customers to the highest customer service standards to the work that we do in each of the communities where we build.
We do some fantastic work with local schools and organisations to ensure there is wider and long-lasting community benefits.
Which of the developments Taylor Wimpey Manchester is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House Award?
I believe they would all have a chance for varying reasons. But if I had to single out a site it would be our Oakwood Meadows development in Shevington, where the housing layout has already received several accolades for the quality of its design and appearance.