One-on-one interview: Neil Simpson of Bewley Homes
Posted 4 November 2014 by Keith Osborne
Marc Da Silva returns to the Home Counties to continue his ongoing series of one-on-one interviews with senior figures in the UK housebuilding industry and poses the questions to Neil Simpson, aales and marketing director of Bewley Homes.
Where is your firm developing new homes? We build new homes in Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey predominantly.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas? The top end of the market is more challenging by the very nature of price and dependence on the sale of existing property. However, in the £195,000 to £500,000 price range we have received great interest which is in part supported by the Help to Buy scheme.
What types of properties is your firm developing? We offer everything from the conversion of an old water tower and pumphouse in Reading to a 7,000-sq-ft new-build family home in Ascot.
What projects is Bewley Homes working on and what's in the development pipeline? Current projects include Nalder Fields just outside Wantage in Oxfordshire, an apartment scheme in Newbury town centre and a limited number of four- and five-bedroom houses at St George’s Court in Pangbourne. We have a great new development on Bath Road in Reading which has both conversions and new-build houses and apartments, created from beautiful Bath stone.
We have 100 new homes just under way at Wokingham, Berkshire and a 47-unit scheme in Chertsey, Surrey where the first foundations have been poured. Smaller sites in Normandy near Guildford and Tilehurst in Reading complete the current portfolio, while our last completion at probably the most prestigious site on the Thames, at Eton, concludes this month.
How much does a new home by Bewley Homes typically cost to buy? Our properties cost from £175,000 at the lower end of the market though all price bands to just over £4m.
Why should more buyers consider purchasing a new-build home as opposed to older property? Firstly, they come with little or no maintenance. Our schemes are built with ‘new character’ and great attention to detail. The landscaping plays a huge part, enhancing the properties surroundings. Our 10-year Premier Guarantee also shows that we are a local developer that cares about what we do and what our purchasers think.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction? Yes, many of the homes we sell are off-plan. It provides an opportunity for new owners to select exactly where on the development they want to be.
What is Bewley Homes’ USP? We pride ourselves on creating high-quality homes in beautiful surroundings.
Which of the developments Bewley Homes is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a WhatHouse? Award? One of our best developments is without question, Eton Thameside. Located on the river, it boasts stunning views of Windsor Castle and has a very special riverside setting. What better way to spend lazy days than absorbing the atmosphere and views!