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Feature Development – Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire

Posted 13 April 2021 by Keith Osborne

Jackie and Janine from David Wilson Homes give us a virtual view of the latest homes at the landmark scheme...

With virtual calls and tours substituting first-hand viewings for many house-hunters, Jackie Dowell and Janine Glanville of David Wilson Homes kindly took the time arrange an online call to introduce themselves and to discuss the latest news at the Newbury Racecourse development in Berkshire.

Jackie: I have worked for David Wilson Holmes for seven years now and have been involved with Newbury Racecourse from the start. I'm the sales manager for the development, it is one of my favourite developments because it is quite unique. I have many years’ experience in the industry, but I've never worked on a development quite like this.

Janine: I've worked for David Wilson Homes for nearly five years, I've been in the industry in total for 14 years. The racecourse is a total one off as it built around a working racecourse. It is completely different to anywhere else I have ever worked.

Henwick'Henwick' house type

Me: I guess some of the homes you've got there are very special to Newbury Racecourse, do you have a particular property types being the most popular, to date?

Janine: Yes, the houses are really unique. With regards to the most popular house type, we have a property called the 'Henwick'. It is a beautiful property with the balcony overlooking the racecourse track so you benefit from far-reaching views. It also offers very versatile living accommodation. On the ground floor you have two bedrooms, a shower room and a utility room. If you have, say, teenage children living with you, it gives them their own space because they could have the bathroom and the fourth bedroom, which has French doors onto the garden as a living area, put the microwave and kettle in the utility room and it is a self -contained area.

More people are having relatives living with them which works well on this house type, as they can move in and have their own space for a multi-generational home.

Me: Things have changed A lot over the last 12 months or so with lockdown, working from being one of them, and outdoor space, whether it be their own private space or countryside on the doorstep. Have you found that?

Janine: Definitely. Wherever you live in the development, whether you have a track-facing or non-track-facing house, you literally are a couple of moments away from the racecourse. You often see people walking their dogs there – socially distanced of course. I certainly have taken quite a few calls from people that are interested in the development who have said, with our lives becoming so restricted, and because we are in our own homes so much, living here means that they feel that they're slightly in the countryside. So they've got the benefit of the road and rail links which are nearby, but then they have the openness of the racecourse on their doorstep.

Me: So have you found your type of buyer has changed quite a bit because I think there's a lot of talk of people moving out from Greater London?

Janine: I think that we potentially have always had people moving out of the London area into this area, but definitely, since lockdown, there are more people coming to The Chase at Newbury Racecourse, because with so many people now working from home, if need be, they can just jump on the train in Newbury and it's a direct route to London Paddington in under an hour.

Me: The people that contact you, are they very aware of things like Help to Buy. Part Exchange, things like that?

Janine: Help to Buy, definitely, people seem to be very much in-the-know about HTB because although it has now changed, it has been going for a significant amount of years. Part Exchange and Movemaker, people will ring and ask about how that works, as they are not always completely au fait with mechanism of the scheme. This would be something that we do go into great detail with the customer, as both of them are extremely useful schemes. Part Exchange works if someone's going up by 30%, but with the Movemaker scheme, that that can be for a downsizer, upsizer or sideways move. So if applicable, we would always make people aware of these. The same with the NHS scheme that we offer to show our support.

Me: Jackie, are you finding things like virtual visits, and phone and online interaction, are getting more popular now?

Jackie: Definitely more popular now, I think, as people are becoming more au fait with doing online appointments. The whole way we work, the way we live has changed. You will always get people that will actually want to come and visit. They just need to see just for themselves and soak in the area. Janine recently sold to a purchaser that she's never met who lives overseas in Singapore, he has purchased the property from there with no issues, so it is a way forward.

Me: When they do come to visit, you have a certain set of rules and regulations about that, haven't you?

Jackie: Very strict rules and regulations. Anybody that visits the developments, it must be a maximum of two people. We notify them that they have to wear a mask and gloves when they arrive. I'm quite proud of offices, the way that they are equipped with everything that you could imagine. It is still very friendly but we are very Covid-safe, accommodating the health and safety of our workers and the people visiting us.

Me: It must be a reassurance to people I think are the biggest investment of their lives?

Jackie: I have to give credit to Janine for that because it takes a lot of detail and a lot of time and a lot of patience on both sides, but it is doable.

Newbury RacecourseMe: Have you've got some details about what standard specification you have, and options and upgrades that people might be able to take advantage of?

Jackie: We have a standard specification that we make people aware of. I would say that the most popular upgrade are downlighters in the kitchen and bathroom areas. Amtico flooring is a good product that is very hardwearing and also a popular choice.

Me: Do you have choices for things like worktops and kitchen units?

Jackie: There is a full range of kitchens and choice of colours you can choose from, including silestone worktops which can be added as an upgrade, but it does depend on build stage.

Me: What kind of properties do you have available right now, and at what kind of price?

Janine: At the moment we've got two-bed apartments starting at £273,000, three-bed houses starting at £440,000 and four-bedroom track-facing houses starting at £542,000.

Newbury RacecourseMe: What's lined up for Newbury Racecourse over the next 12 months?

Janine: We do have another phase that still needs to be started. The phase we are in at the moment, we probably have another year-and-a-half to two years and then we have a smaller phase of houses that takes us down to the beginning of the straight mile, with some apartments being built alongside the houses. The good thing with it all is that because it's being built over such an advanced space you do not feel like you are on a large development, as we had the first phase of the development starting up at Stroud Green, then you have the apartments in the middle and then you have the phase that we're in at the moment. It's approximately 1,400 properties, but they are spaced over quite a few miles with different road accesses in and out of it. So it feels it doesn't feel hemmed in. It feels like each part is a separate development.

Me: Will there be a good range of different house types and apartments?

Jackie: Yes, we're talking approximately another three years and there will be a good selection of apartments, two-beds, three-beds and four-beds. So there is that fit for everybody, from first-time buyers to downsizers in, and everybody in between. I would say that age-wise, we've had people from their twenties into their eighties that have purchased here so there is not a 'type' of buyer as such, which actually makes a better community because it is a mixed community, which I feel is really just a nice place to live.

Me: If somebody wants to take the next step to find out about this, what's the best way for them to do that?

Jackie: They can make an appointment with us on our booking tool by our website, or telephone us on 01635 31319 for more information. Our appointments are held either remotely with a sales advisor at The Chase or in person depending on guidance from the sales adviser. We're open seven days a week 10.00am to 5.30pm, by appointment only.

You can also find out more about Newbury Racecourse from David Wilson Homes here.


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