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8 Carlyle Consultants 26 housebuilder march 2016 THE INTERVIEW Bob Weston Weston Homes B obWeston chairman and md of Weston Homes has a suggestion for unlocking all of the brownfield land in Kent and east London.The solution he says is Boris Island the once proposed airport in theThames Estuary so-called because of the London mayors well-publicised support for it. Boris Johnsons pet project was dismissed as too costly. ButWeston insists that the envisaged four- runway airport on the Isle of Grain Kent would have led to the redevelopment of badly needed land once infrastructure was in place.The airport certainly would have been of interest to his company with his stomping ground being in the Home Counties including Kent as well as outer London. The straight-talkingWeston likes to view things differently at times. And with utter confidence in his standpoint.These traits have almost certainly guided him through the 28 years that he has been fronting the business he started which delivers new build conversion and mixed-use projects. world marketplace In another exampleWeston Homes purchases building materials from various corners of the globe including porcelain tiles from Dubai. Whilst the industry is largely UK based and there is the eco argument when it comes to sourcing productsWestons perspective isThis is a world marketplace nowhere is off-limits.Taking a world view enables you to buy the best products at the best prices.Were buying all sorts of products stonework tops from overseas taps and glass. Whether thinking globally or more locally the Weston Homes philosophy focuses onadding thingsto create value and interest explains the boss.That way its a thought process.We want to build fresh developments. You spend a bit more for higher perceived value. Everything weve built has been brownfield Im not an eco-warrior its just where we can develop at best value. Invariably well knock something down to build something new. Preston Hall is a recent example ofWeston Homesrestoration work.The company has refurbished a statelyVictorian mansion in Aylesford Kent to accommodate apartments houses and villas some sporting period features. Weston Homes is progressing well with its growth strategy with several schemes set to launch this spring. Suzie Mayes talks to Bob Weston chairman and md about the business that he created in the 1980s his own plans and hisfive-a-dayapproach Westons five-a-day What made Weston Homes BobWeston establishedWeston Homes in 1987. Prices of its homes and apartments range from 140000 to 1 million. Before becoming his own bossWeston enjoyed 12 fruitful years at Fairview New Homes.During such a length of time you have aspirations you might desire to become a directorhe says.I got there too quickly in the sense that Id fulfilled my career aspiration by the age of 30.What more was there to do I thought Id be brave and start out on my own. I bought a couple of building plots. I left Fairview Homes and returned the company car. On the Monday morning afterwards I found myself standing in the snooker room over my garage. But my motivation was what do I want to achieve Twenty-eight years later his company possesses a portfolio of 2300 new homes in the development pipeline. Over the current five-year business plan around 1 billion-worth of new residential property or mixed-use developments will be constructed. It pays to be brave. 026-28_HB_MAR16.indd 26 22022016 1623 httpswww.property-magazine.eunew-science-and-technology-campus-unveiled- in-essex-34278.html HousebuilderHHround table 20 housebuilder november 2015 T his industry can do it.We can build more. Theres enough land planning will be okay we can find the labour materials supply is OK we can get there. JohnAndersonexecutivedirectorofKierLivingwasin bullishmoodattheHousebuilderHHRoundTableas thegroupoftenseniorindustryfiguresdebatedtheissue ofnewhomessupplyundertheexpertchairmanshipof HBFexternalaffairsdirectorJohnSlaughter. The aim was to try to find solutions to the challenges of increasing new homes supply in a way that would really make a difference. So did the panel believe that supply could increase to more than 200000 in England Anderson was the most positive but his positivity was conditional.Housing supplyhe said is like a business plan. But the government keeps tinkering going back to the business plan and changing it.They really dont need to do this. Andersonsawafutureinwhich200000plusnew homesispossiblebutwaslesssureoftheheady heightsof250000.Evenifwehadtheplanningfor 250000-pluswejustdonthavethepeoplebuilding thatvolumewouldmeanweneedtoimportthelabour. Others round the table questioned whether higher numbers can ever be reached.Building 160000 to 200000 in the UK is the long term average over the past 40 yearssaid NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton. Im not sure we can get much beyond that. Labour and skills are a big issue. Is 200000 a glass ceilingasked Miller chief executive Chris Endsor.I think to get near 200000 we need the SMEs firing up.And that said HH UK managing director Mark Oliver is not easy because of regulation.Regulation is a barrier to entry to the market for the smaller firms do you think the government realises this And then there is the question of whether the A time for fresh thoughts TheHousebuilderHHRoundTablediscussed waysofincreasinghousingsupply What is required for the industry to boost supply to 250000 homes a yearThis was the question posed to senior housebuilders and industry figures at this years Housebuilder HH RoundTable. Ben Roskrow reports on their musings Round Table The 020-26_HB_NOV15.qxp 28102015 1425 Page 20 HousebuilderHHround table housebuilder november 2015 21 on housing supply industry actually wants to increase supply significantly.Is it unfair to expect the industry to dramatically increase supplyasked Quinton.If the builders are doing quite nicely why do more Linden group managing director Andrew Richards had the answer.We are not going to invest in our raw material land and then not use it.And for the smaller firms Steve Midgley managing director of Fairgrove saidI dont know about the big guys but we would build more. Despite their concern over whether housing supply numbers can reach the levels required to match demand the panel was in fine form in looking for solutions to the problems. But first of all those problems had to be defined. Richards summed up the challenge.There are so many problems its a series of hurdles and once youre over one theres another one ahead. The panel began with the old favourite planning. Thetraditionalplan-ledsystemisholdingback supplysaidMartinSkinneradirectorofInspiredAsset ManagementthatdevelopsinLondon.Itsrisky unpredictableandaffectedbysection106agreements spacestandardsandtheCodeforSustainableHomes. SpacestandardsareanissuesaidSkinnerwhoiskeen tobeallowedtobuildsmallerhomesarguingthatin Londonsmallflatsarepopularsmallerhomes hesaidmeanlowerprices.continuedonpage224 020-26_HB_NOV15.qxp 27102015 1125 Page 21 MG to sell Atlantic Quay trio ascitysbusinessareahotsup 9 Three 1990s-built Glasgow offices expected to attract interest as redevelopment and investment opportunities BY RHIANNON BURY MG Real Estate has appointed Savills to sell 1 2 and 3 Atlantic Quay in Glasgows business district with a price tag of up to 60m for all three. Built in the 1990s 1 and 3 are being marketed as potential redevelopment plays for investors looking to capitalise on growing interest in the area. A number of schemes are currently in the pipeline including BAM Properties hugely anticipated Atlantic Square scheme which is due to be approved by the city council in the coming weeks. 1 Atlantic Quay is around 124000 sq ft and its tenants include property developer Mactaggart Mickel energy provider Scottish Power and the Big Lottery Fund. Scottish Power is planning to move to a new 220000 sq ft purpose-built building on the former Elphinstone Tower site on the corner of India Street and St Vincent Street. 3 Atlantic Quay meanwhile is around 81000 sq ft and counts AXA Insurance and Oval Financial among its tenants. As with 1 Atlantic Quay the tenants leases are due to expire in the next two to three years. The 77000 sq ft 2 Atlantic Quay is being offered as an investment opportunity. Lloyds TSB Scotland focuses its West of Scotland activities in 2 Atlantic Quay and the building also houses the groups flagship phonebank telebanking centre. It recently regeared its lease which is due to expire in 2026 and has a break in 2021. MG has long been active in the Scottish property market. Earlier this month it bought the 174000 sq ft Aurora Building in Glasgow for 72.6m in an off-market deal. The office was owned by CS EuroReal a Credit Suisse-owned fund. It also owns 1 West Regent Street a speculative office building in the centre of Glasgow which it has developed with Clearbell. All parties declined to comment. Cambridgestudentdigsapproved RoyalSelangorheadstoChelsea Hub Residential has won planning consent for a 202-bed student scheme in Cambridge. Last year the London-based developer submitted plans for the new student housing complex at 217 Newmarket Road which comprises more than 200 study bedrooms as well as communal facilities and cycle parking. Cambridge City Council has now approved the scheme for the site which has been home to motor vehicle business Wests Garage since the 1950s. Cambridge has one of the largest student populations in the UK nearly a quarter of its residents attend either Anglia Ruskin or Cambridge University. Savills predicts property prices would rise 23.3 over the next five years in the city. Luxury pewter specialist Royal Selangor is opening its first UK standalone shop on the Kings Road in Chelsea. The Malaysian company is to open a 1317 sq ft store in the summer at 261 Kings Road on the Sloane Stanley Estate. Royal Selangor has taken the shop on a 10-year lease and will pay an annual rent close to 77500. The UK flagship store will stock customised and designer homeware as well as ornaments and personalised gifts. Royal Selangors two complementary brands Selberan jewellery and the 350-year-old sterling silver brand Comyns will also be available in the store. Royal Selangor was established in Malaysia in 1885 and has stores around the world. Shackleton and Miles Commercial acted for Sloane Stanley. CBRE represented Royal Selangor. Full house at 10 Portman Square after Weston Homes signs up Home counties residential developer Weston Homes has taken the last office space in British Lands 10 Portman Square which means the building is now fully let. Weston Homes has taken a new lease for 1548 sq ft on the ground floor of the building where asking rents are around 90sq ft. The housebuilder will join a mix of occupiers in the building including Aspect Capital Aramco Arrowgrass Capital Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Ardagh Glass and Independent Franchise Partners. The seven-floor 113700 sq ft building north of Oxford Street was delivered as part of British Lands 2010 development programme which altogether comprised 2.7m sq ft of space including around 820000 sq ft in the West End. Our decision to develop the building has proved to be a good one as it meant we delivered exceptionally well- designed space at a prestigious address into a strong occupational market said James Danby head of office leasing at British Land. Knight Frank and JLL represented British Land. CBRE represented Weston Homes. For sale 1 Atlantic Quay is home to Scottish Power and the Big Lottery Fund Westons new home 10 Portman Sq NEWSUK propertyweek.com 170415 9 009_PROPWK170415_News page 9.indd 9 15042015 172842 ANALYSIS 32 080116 Is London still calling Last year saw frenetic investment activity in London and the South East but with more experts calling the top of the market is the capital set to lose its allure in 2016 Kathrin Hersel Development director Almacantar We expect office rental growth in core central London to be strong particularly where the demandsupply imbalance remains. With the increasing population global economic forecasts stabilising and employment levels improving we expect office occupational demand to persist but only for the right buildings in the right places. Delivery of new stock will be hampered by the inefficiency of the planning system and paucity of debt finance for development. For buyers asset selection will be more important than ever and west should prevail over east for capital growth potential. James Lass Fund manager Schroder UK Real Estate Fund Among the occupier market we would expect to see emerging London hubs such as Battersea Whitechapel Stratford and Croydon continue to grow in popularity and increasingly be considered as genuine viable alternatives to the traditional core London locations. Businesses are beginning to take note of the growing desire from employees to live and socialise close to where they work. Emerging destinations that have worked hard not only to provide quality flexible workspace but also a vibrant cultural and residential offer will prove more and more attractive to the occupier market as will areas that benefit from excellent existing or planned transport connectivity. propertyweek.com The big picture will property come out of hyperdrive Property faces myriad global and domestic threats not least on the political front but while that could point to a less than stellar year its no death star scenario say the experts Ciaran Bird UK MD CBRE The strong growth in investment volumes weve seen in the last few years is likely to flatten off with 2016 volumes expected to be similar to 2015. The mix of foreign investment will change and returns will remain positive through to 2020 if at a slightly lower level. On a sector-by-sector basis the outlook is positive. Strong employment growth will underpin office markets in 2016 with sustained investment rental growth and take-up in both London and regional markets. Thanks to a strong economy we think the industrial sector will outperform in 2016 with ecommerce a major driver as retailers look to take control of the final mile and lease smaller warehouses on the edge of urban areas. More broadly property will continue to be a bellwether for the UK economy and 2016 is set to be another year of strong returns for investors. The market is buoyant and will remain that way. Tony Horrell UK Ireland CEO Colliers The lower for longer interest rate environment in the UK will continue to favour real estate investment. Interest will remain strong from domestic institutions and global capital with further new international entrants expected. Pricing will remain firm although the media noise around Brexit may cause enough mid-year hesitation among buyers to reduce volumes from the 2015 high. However an unequivocal affirmation of EU membership may spawn a substantial relief rally in the last quarter of 2016. The shape of the cycle has evolved as investor strategies have. Increasingly international capital is seeking UK partners and expertise to achieve higher yields through asset management and value-add projects. The UK is also poised for an acceleration of development activity and this will be accompanied by a shift from equity-led to debt-driven demand. Alex Jeffrey CEO MG Real Estate Rental growth will be a major theme for 2016 emerging as the knight in shining armour to will change and returns will 2020 if at a slightly lower level. from the 2015 high. However an unequivocal affirmation of EU substantial relief rally in the international capital is seeking asset management and value-add hubs such as Battersea Whitechapel Stratford and Croydon continue to grow in popularity and increasingly be considered as genuine viable alternatives to the traditional core London locations. Whats in the stars for 2016 032_PROPWK080116_Predictions2016_all pages.indd 32 06012016 143221 MEDIA RELATIONS