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New Build Hot Spots In West London

Posted 6 July 2022 by Lizzie Leigh

We chat with Finlay Brewer co-founders, Simon Gresswell and Teresa Brewer and director Paul Cosgrove, about West London hot spots…

We hear how new build properties around Westfield are attracting a new type of buyer to the area, and why they can be a more attractive option than period home alternatives…


Can you tell us how you first set up Finlay Brewer?

Teresa: I met Simon when he was selling a house he'd done up in the area and I was a local agent. He was a developer and I'd been thinking about setting up an agency for a while, so once we got chatting and found out we had similar ambitions he said, ‘if you're in, I'm in’, so I said, ‘let's go for it’ and that’s how Finlay Brewer was founded. Paul joined us in 1998 to complete the dream team and now 30 years later we’re the most successful and established estate agent in Brook Green and the surrounding areas.


The agency has a strong reputation in west London and is celebrating 30 years of business there this year - what's been the secret to the success?

Simon: We have been operating in the three villages of Brook Green, Askew and Brackenbury, and wider, for 30 years, so there aren’t many properties in the area we haven’t sold or resold multiple times! We pride ourselves on our knowledge and personal relationships within the local community, which has fostered a trust amongst our clientele that we know what we’re talking about and will achieve the best result in the fastest possible time for them. It is this reputation, built over three decades, that has led to an extraordinary amount of repeat business, as well as recommendations and new instructions.


What are each of your roles within the business?

Teresa: Paul and I manage the sales side of the business, alongside our brilliant head of sales, Debbie McFadyen. Simon oversees the day-to-day management of the company and ensures everything keeps ticking over. Our team really is like a family and that’s how we like it. We value our independence and believe that our values have helped us build strong relationships with local homeowners that really sets us apart from the competition.


Since the arrival of Westfield London shopping centre, the surrounding area of Shepherd's Bush has been transformed dramatically - how are sales of new build developments going there?

Paul: The area is best known for its Victorian era large family houses, with generous gardens and proximity to good schools, so the recent new build properties created at Westfield and White City has attracted a new type of purchaser. It has added an exciting element to a suburban area for buyers who live in London part time or during the week, with high grade retail, leisure and entertainment facilities that have helped increase the value and attractiveness of the locality.


What do you think the forthcoming transformation of Kensington Olympia will do for the local market?

Paul: The redevelopment of Kensington Olympia is going to have a major impact on the area, whilst also positively influencing property values. This £1.3bn project will create an incredible collection of cultural and culinary options, complete with restaurants, co-working spaces, hotels and an auditorium that will complement the upgraded existing conference and exhibition facilities. The new theatre will be the biggest theatre to be built in London since the National Theatre on the South Bank in the 1970’s. This is going to create a fabulous social and cultural hub that will be the jewel in the crown for the area.


Can you identify any areas of west London that would be a great place to buy a new home for investment purposes?

Teresa: Currently, White City and around the Kensington Olympia provide the best quality new homes, as well as good value uplift potential.


Do these urban areas still remain as attractive to new home buyers since the pandemic, when we heard about people leaving cities in search of green space?

Simon: We’re blessed in our patch of West London to be within the catchment of some of the country’s best state and independent schools, including St Paul’s Girls’ School, Bute House, Godolphin & Latymer and West London Free School, which draw people to the area. We also have the privilege of being in close proximately to the River and all its additional social and cultural offering, including The Lyric Theatre, The Hammersmith Apollo, Riverside Studios and Shepherd’s Bush Theatre. Whilst many moved temporarily to the country during the pandemic, a large percentage are back in London or splitting their time between London and the country.

One other interesting point we’ve noticed recently is the amount of buyers currently residing in and around Brook Green with big budgets, who could easily be looking in areas such as Kensington, Chelsea, Holland Park et al, but instead they are just looking to upgrade here, which further highlights how attractive our patch of West London has become.


What are the most common reasons people choose to buy a new home as opposed to period?

Paul: In our experience, new builds can be more attractive to investors, because, in most cases, they require less maintenance and can generate higher rental yields. Apartments in new developments can also offer buyers more than just a home, with high-quality modern facilities, such as gyms, cinema rooms, lounges etc. that provide a lifestyle some desire that a period home can’t. In addition, since the pandemic, the cost of refurbishments/materials has escalated and resulted in new builds becoming an easier option to prospective buyers.


Can you tell us about the new homes you're selling at the moment?

Paul: We’ve recently sold apartments in Queens Wharf on the north side of Hammersmith Bridge and Sharp House at the top of Hammersmith Grove. Our buyers of these properties liked the contemporary configuration, style and convenience of the facilities and the fact that they could move in without further expense.


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