One-on-one interview: Mary Hurst of London Rock Capital
Marc Da Silva continues his series of interviews with some of the biggest figures in UK housebuilding by speaking to Mary Hurst, chief executive of London Rock Capital.
Where in London is your firm developing new homes?
We build properties in central London locations such as Mayfair, Belgravia, and southwest of the capital, including Fulham and Streatham.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas?
There is a range of demand. In more central locations, there is continued appetite from international buyers looking for a safe haven for their money. Fulham is seeing a large increase in European buyers, particularly French and Italian. There are also increasing numbers of French schools in SW6 that are attracting families to the area. Elsewhere in Fulham, and areas such as Tooting and Streatham, the market is still witnessing unprecedented demand for newly developed properties that provide quality and security for young professionals.
What types of properties is your firm developing?
We offer new builds, terraced housing, Georgian townhouses and any property that is un-modernised and offers huge potential.
What projects are London Rock Capital working on and what's in the development pipeline?We are currently renovating a large 3,500sqft town house in Mayfair, and have just finished a 3,000sqft flat on Eaton Place. We are also doing four projects in Fulham - three houses and one penthouse flat.
How much does a new home by London Rock Capital typically cost to buy?
This varies a great deal depending on the property, street, and borough. However, we sell properties that have been fully renovated, so the purchaser is buying into a completely new product. Everything will be new from walls to kitchens so they are buying a great home, which is carefully designed with functional layouts and excellent quality.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new build home as opposed to older property?
New-build properties offer buyers comfort as they are sold with long guarantees and warranties. At London Rock we fully gut and renovate the properties, so although we might be creating a new build or renovating a terrace property, buyers can be assured there are long-term benefits with our flats and houses.
The product will last a long time and it is well built. We buy high-end appliances and materials, plus always ensure we only use the best quality of suppliers and use specialists to install these.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction?
If a particular development site is sought-after, buying at an early stage means you might be able to secure good value immediately if high demand means the limited supply will cause the price of the property to increase. Also sometimes you are able to determine the layout of the property if you buy in very early.
What is London Rock Capital's USP?
The USP of London Rock Capital is the high quality of renovation that the company offers, whether it is a flat or house. We ensure that every single detail of a renovation is thought through carefully and work with a highly skilled professional team that ensures developments are of exceptional build quality and finish. With years of expertise among the team, the specification of the product is appropriate to the location, the design is functional and the developments are innovative and the interiors selected to give the wow factor.
Which of the developments London Rock Capital is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House Award?
I would nominate Curzon Street in Mayfair and Settrington Road in Fulham.