One-on-One interview: Simon Hedley at Druce
Marc Da Silva this week stays in the capital to continue his series of interviews with senior figures in the new homes and estate agency industries, posing the questions to Simon Hedley, a director of local agent Druce.
What regions do you cover? We predominately offer properties in Marylebone and Fitzroviain central London.
What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas? The housing market in both Marylebone and Fitzrovia is buoyant. We are continuing to see an influx of international buyers into both areas, as well as a great deal of commercial-to-resi conversions. Prices have risen in recent months as demand continues to outweigh supply in one of London's most popular enclaves.
What types of property is your firm selling? At Druce we sell everything from large townhouses on garden squares, to one-bedroom flats to some of the most exciting new developments on the market at the moment. Some of these are sold ‘off-plan' before work has even commenced so it's always worth checking in with us.
How much does a new home offered by Druce typically cost to buy? Generally, new-build properties in Marylebone and Fitzrovia average around £1,900/sqft to 2,800/sqft but penthouses can achieve up to £4,000/sqft for the very best.
Why should more buyers consider buying a new-build home as opposed to older property? There is less to worry about when buying a new-build, with the NHBC guarantee you know that your property is going to be a safe investment for the next 10 years. The majority of new homes are built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 or above, making them environmentally friendly and more cost-effective to run.
What is Druce's USP? Druce's USP really is our local knowledge. We have been active in Marylebone since 1822, making us the most established estate agency in the area. My own personal experience is 24 years living and working in Marylebone.
Which of the developments Druce is currently selling do you think stands the best chance of winning a What House? Award? The Fitzrovia Apartments by Manhattan Lofts are ground-breaking in terms of design and flair. The properties have been finished to an amazingly high standard and benefit from concierges, underground parking and private gardens as well as a very good eco rating .