Berkeley DeVeer and Elliott Advisors buy Avant Homes Group
COO Mark Mitchell will become CEO on May 1, replacing Colin Lewis, who will become Non Executive Deputy Chairman. Jeff Fairburn, currently CEO of Berkeley DeVeer and former Persimmon boss, will become Chairman of Avant Homes.
Avant Homes currently has 60 live developments being delivered across five regions in the Midlands, Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland. It currently delivers around 2,000 homes each year, has a turnover of circa £500m and employs around 780 people.
Avant Homes Yorkshire is set to deliver 140 homes at a new £32m development in Castleford, West Yorkshire after receiving planning approval from Wakefield Council (pictured).
Groundworks at Elliott Place are due to start this month with the showhomes to follow this summer and first homes are expected to be ready for occupation in October, according to a statement.
The 9.88-acre land, located just off Castleford’s Flass Lane, is the final phase of residential development on site, which Avant Homes acquired from Harworth Estates in December 2020.
The new homes will form part Harworth Estates’ and Wakefield Council’s plans to deliver 560 new homes alongside a restaurant and employment space in the area. The build is estimated to take approximately two years and is set to create 120 jobs.
Elliott Place will feature a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom properties across 10 of Avant Homes’ signature house types. The collection of properties will range from a two-bedroom terraced home to a four-bedroom two and a half-storey detached house.
Located south west of Castleford town centre, Elliott Place is surrounded by local amenities, transport links, schools and attractions including Xscape Yorkshire and Junction 32 Shopping Outlet. The M62 is also within close proximity to the development, giving a wide range of buyers easy access to Leeds and Pontefract.
Avant Homes Yorkshire managing director, Chris Coley, said: “Castleford has a great demand for high-quality, new-build housing, so we’re very pleased to have been granted planning permission from Wakefield Council to deliver 140 homes.
“This developed area of Castleford has become a thriving residential, leisure and commercial location in West Yorkshire, and we look forward to commencing the groundworks in the coming weeks to deliver the final phase of homes as part of the council’s and Harworth Estates’ local plan.”
Research reveals 164% rise in searches for loft conversions
Market research conducted by building supply specialist Insulation4Less has revealed that searches for ‘Loft Conversions’ rose by a staggering 164% between May and June of this year, while searches for ‘Loft Conversion Ideas’ jumped by 186% as people spend more time on home renovations this summer.
The company also found that the most popular use for a loft conversion is for an additional bedroom, while an extra bathroom was the second-highest search term. Walk-in wardrobes came in third, beating out a home office in fourth while converting a loft into a home cinema round off the top five.
According to a recent study, a loft conversion can add roughly 20% to the value of a property. With the average UK house price standing at £267,000 in January 2021, this represents an average increase in value of more than £53,400.
Johnpaul Manning, Managing Director of Insulation4Less, said: “If the last year has taught us anything, it's that having space is essential to our mental health and wellbeing, so it's no surprise that people are taking the time to focus on home improvements to help them make the most of their home.
As one of the most under-utilised areas in any property, loft conversions represent a great opportunity to maximise the use of space that not only improves quality of life but also has the capacity to add value to the home”, he said.
Manning added that it's important to remember that a loft conversion isn't just your average DIY project, and should never be done on the spur of the moment. “A significant amount of planning needs to happen to make it a reality, and an understanding that life can be disrupted while the build is taking place.
“While it's definitely a worthwhile project, I'd recommend that anyone considering a loft conversion should do some in-depth research to really understand what's needed to make it a reality”, Manning said.
Is Your Loft Suitable For a Conversion?
While loft conversions do look amazing and add an extra element to a property, not all homes may be suitable. Insulation4Less says that this is due to a variety of factors.
“It's important to make sure that your roof is structurally sound enough to handle a conversion”, the company said. Although there are different types of roof structures, they mostly fall into two distinct categories: a traditional roof, and a trussed roof.
A traditional roof: was typically found in pre-1960s houses. Rafters on traditional roofs run along its edges, leaving a good amount of free space. However, they might still need new or extra support. Trussed roofs, on the other hand, have ‘W’ shaped rafters that support the roof and the floor structure. Even though truss roofs may appear to be harder to convert, it’s not impossible; the ‘W’ shaped rafters can be replaced with an ‘A’ shape structure which creates a hollow space. While this can add additional costs, it could be a worthy investment, so take this into consideration during your planning process.
“Another thing to consider is the roof's height and pitch, and how that will impact the amount of space you’ll have. You’ll need a minimum height of 2.2m to ensure proper clearance. While you might be happy to settle for something a little shorter on paper, make sure your happy with the height you have and the effect it could have on the enjoyment of the space”, Insulation4Less advises.
The company recommends doing research before going to an architect or contractor. “Ultimately, look for other conversions on your street or in similar properties, and if you feel comfortable, ask if you can have a look and discuss how their project came together - you’ll find a wealth of information that could really help your own project in the future”.
Information credit: Insulation4Less.