One-on-one Interview: Richard Forman of Delph Property Group
This week, Marc Da Silva continues his regular interviews with senior figures in the UK property industry by speaking to Richard Forman, head of sales and marketing for one of Britain’s largest private landlords, Delph Property Group.
Where in the country are your current projects located and what schemes is Delph Property Group working on and what’s in the development pipeline?
We currently have a portfolio of more than 1,000 properties. Our most recent projects include 105 units at our successful MetalWorks development in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and 53 luxury apartments at Cabot Circus in Bristol.
In the last couple of months we’ve also recently acquired 64 properties in Leicester and 61 apartments at a new development in Birmingham, in addition to our previous purchases of 106 units at West Tower in Liverpool and 76 units at Redhill in Surrey.
2014 was a very successful year for us and we are currently purchasing several other exciting projects in thriving city centres across the UK.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas?
The UK’s property market is buoyant. With schemes such as Help to Buy assisting buyers to get onto the property ladder, there’s no better time to buy. We’ve seen a particularly strong demand for luxury apartments in prime city centre locations, such as Birmingham, where we’ve sold 75 of the properties at our MetalWorks development since it was launched in October 2014.
What types of properties is your firm looking to acquire?
We focus on acquiring entire freehold blocks of apartments, built and off-plan, rather than individual units.
How much does a new home at one of Delph Property Group’s developments typically cost to buy?
The prices of our properties vary but tend to range from £100,000 to £300,000 depending on the city.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new build home as opposed to older property?
Purchasing a new build home is a fantastic long-term investment and offers capital growth opportunities. New build properties also require less maintenance and have a high-quality finish.
Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction?
It is definitely worth buying a property off-plan as it allows the buyers to benefit from the rising property market and generate profit. Cities outside of London are expected to see upwards of 5-6% growth in the next year, so these are definitely the best places to invest in.
What is Delph Property Group’s USP?
At Delph Property Group we provide a guaranteed exit strategy for the developer or builder and remove the burden of sales and marketing and the associated risks. We work together with developers throughout the build process and can often offer them larger deposits on exchange. We remain committed to and are actively seeking new investments in quality existing stock and off-plan opportunities throughout the UK.
Which of the developments Delph Property Group is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a WhatHouse? Award?
The apartments at MetalWorks in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter are stunning properties and would stand a great chance of winning a WhatHouse? Award. The development experienced incredible demand prior to launch, resulting in us bringing forward the unveiling of the apartments, and 40% of the 105 apartments were reserved in the first four weeks of the site opening.
There are still a number of modern two-bedroom apartments available at Metalworks, which start from £170,000. The apartments give owner-occupiers and investors a real opportunity to invest in the area as the market continues to grow, and benefit from being close to the range of shops and restaurants in the Jewellery Quarter.