One-on-one interview – Joanne Casey of Mactaggart & Mickel Homes

Posted 14 October 2014

To continue his weekly ongoing series of interview with senior figures in the new homes industry, Marc Da Silva heads north again to speak to Joanne Casey, sales and marketing director of Scottish housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Homes.

Where in Scotland is your firm developing new homes? Mactaggart & Mickel Homes is based in Glasgow but we build homes across the central belt of Scotland.

What are housing market conditions currently like in those areas? The housing market is slowly but steadily growing stronger across the central belt of Scotland where we have experienced an upturn in sales and increased footfall for a number of our sites. What is clear is that housebuyers are looking for properties that not only offer value for money but are built with quality and efficiency in mind – I believe this is where Mactaggart & Mickel Homes shines and is also why many of our developments are proving popular for a range of prospective buyers.

What types of properties is your firm developing? We build a range of properties to suit the needs of various buyers. We try to offer a variety of house types in every development to cater to as wide a market as possible, from two-bedroom apartments for first time buyers to five-bedroom detached villas for growing families. Some developments like Williamwood in Clarkston are particularly popular with downsizers and we are seeing many buyers swapping older larger homes for the convenience of one of our apartments. We are constantly developing and improving the design of our properties for example with the new  Design Collection at our Greenan Views development in Doonfoot, South Ayrshire there are large feature windows and we are reintroducing the red brick façade which was so synonymous with the homes we constructed in the 1930s.

What projects is Mactaggart & Mickel Homes working on and what's in the development pipeline? We are in the process of delivering new phases on a number of our developments such as the ‘Design Collection’ at Greenan Views, phase two of pioneering Polnoon and the prestigious Marchfields Townhouses in Edinburgh. We also have a number of new developments launching in the next year such as Castle Grove and Mure Park in East Renfrewshire, Braemore Wood in Troon and Criaglockhart near Morningside. Having such a healthy pipeline of new sites is reflective of the improving marketplace in Scotland.

How much does a new home by Mactaggart & Mickel Homes typically cost to buy? Our goal is to create stylish quality homes to suit a range of budgets. Prices range from £134,000 for a two-bedroom apartment up to £650,000 for a detached five-bedroom villa. There are incentive packages across our sites too to make buying a new home even more accessible.

Why should more buyers consider buying a new-build home as opposed to older property? New homes are much more energy efficient than older properties thanks to the materials and methods used to build them, which provides a big financial benefit in terms of lower energy bills.

When you move into a new-build home you will have virtually nothing to do to it in terms of decorating and there are no renovations which means no financial outlay and much less stress.

Is it worth buying property during the off-plan stage of construction? Buying off-plan ensures you secure the plot you want in the so you know you won’t miss out. Another advantage to purchasing off-plan is that it allows you to incorporate your own personal style into your home which could include everything from the kitchen cabinets and bathroom suites to the floorings and curtains. Each element of your home can be tailored to suit you.

What is Mactaggart & Mickel Homes’ USP? We are a Scottish family-owned business with nearly 90 years’ experience of building homes using innovative techniques, so our buyers really get the best of worlds. Quality is key, from the houses themselves to our customer service. A number of our happy buyers have commented on the quality of service they have received from us both in the run-up to purchasing their home and in the after-sales care they have received. We’ve got lots of residents who are in their second and even third Mactaggart & Mickel home.

Which of the developments Mactaggart & Mickel Homes is currently developing do you think stands the best chance of winning a WhatHouse? Award? We are extremely proud of all our developments, particularly Polnoon in Eaglesham which is helping to create a conservation area for tomorrow that’s perfect for families today. It has been landscaped into a vibrant neighbourhood comprising of 121 beautifully designed, high-specification energy efficient homes. We worked closely with the Scottish government when planning Polnoon and it has been built to their Designing Streets agenda. This means it has a really different feel to traditional developments – it has been laid out to encourage walking and cycling instead of driving and also engagement between neighbours to create a community.

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