This week’s focus falls on prime London, and we continue our ongoing series of interviews with senior figures from the UK’s new homes industry with Paul Artemi, co-founder of boutique developer Artemi & Gibbs.
Hi Paul, please tell us a little about yourself and Artemi & Gibbs
I have been in the property business for 28 years. In 1989, at the tender age of 18, I started buying and developing property for my buy-to-let portfolio. In 2007, I met my business partner Stephen Gibbs and we joined forces. Unsure of the long-term outlook with the buy-to-let industry, in 2008 we founded Artemi & Gibbs.
As well as the property business I invented and patented the Artemi Spacemaker Garment hook in 1992. The product went worldwide and in 2001 I received the prestigious Queen’s Award for enterprise, by attending a ceremony at Buckingham Palace and meeting the Queen. I was born and bred in London. I am married and have two children.
What areas do you focus on and do you have plans to make your mark in others?
We are based in Barnet North London. All our projects to date have been in and around London, and this is where our focus will continue.
You are currently selling at Miram House, please take us through some of the details of that development.
Miram comes from the Latin word amazing, and we are extremely proud of the homes we have created there. Attention to detail is at the core of everything we do. We have blended the latest technologies with the finest materials and traditional craftsmanship to create six very special, unique homes. Set in a prime location with views of the Hertfordshire countryside and Hadley Wood Golf Course, bespoke fixtures and fittings have been designed and handpicked to ensure every element of Miram House feels exclusive. From custom-built floors to luxurious wall coverings, stunning kitchens and bathrooms with their volcanic limestone baths – we have chosen only the finest design and materials for these very special homes.
Each home at Miram House has already been professionally interior decorated, to a fantastic standard - is that crucial for buyers at this price point?
Very much so, people need to be able to imagine living there. We have a singular obsession always to strive for perfection and to pay attention to the smallest detail. We believe buying a new home should be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. So finishing touches are everything in the luxury market.
How else does residential development at the high end of the market differ from the mainstream?
It’s all about exclusivity – taking the time to have the product looking its best and not launching too early.
The luxury market seemed to take a hit with changes in stamp duty over the past 18 months - but how are you finding things and what types of buyers are still active for properties such as yours?
We haven’t been affected so far – I think if the product and price is right then people will buy. We are nearly 50% sold at Miram House already in less than a month. We have a mix of buyers from downsizers seeking modern lateral living to professionals and celebs.
The latest and best spec is no doubt important if you're spending big money - do you find the benefits of brand new easy to persuade buyers who might easily afford a quality period home?
Definitely – it’s all in the detail and quality of the end product. If you use the best of everything and finish it to the highest standard, people can always see the benefits of buying new over old.
What are the latest spec trends which you think might percolate down the market to mainstream properties?
Buyers at this level want something a bit different we are big on using the latest technology – at Miram we have installed a fully integrated Control4 home automation system, which offers the ultimate smart home automation solution by making the electronic components and systems we use on a daily basis work together, seamlessly. By integrating everything from lighting, music, video, climate control, security, even smart phones and tablets, Control4 creates personalised experiences that enhance your life and work with added comfort, savings, convenience and style.
Take control of your home with just one button press from a sleek touch screen, designer engraved keypad or your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android device. Select a movie to watch or music to enjoy from your favourite chair. Adjust your lights, shades, temperature and check on your CCTV system without getting out of bed. The comfort and convenience of the ultimate technology lifestyle can be yours and the possibilities are endless, whatever you can imagine, Control4 can do.
What projects are in the pipeline that can you tell us about?
We are currently looking for our next site. We never have two sites active at the same time. Each development is personally managed by us from the design, construction, handover, and aftercare of each and every residence. This approach ensures we are in full control of every detail.