Industry Reactions from our clients on the 2018 Spring Statement

Our clients give their thoughts on Philip Hammonds 2018 Spring Statement, which was announced on Tuesday 13th March.

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Martin Bikhit, Managing Director at Kay & Co commented:

“So, we spring into the house buying season with no significant setbacks from the government. This is positive news for both buyers, sellers and the industry as a whole.  Economic conditions are showing some improvement, and the sun usually brings the buyers out, so we are ready to greet the season with optimism.  Philip Hammond promised no red box, no official document, no spending increases, no tax changes. No other economy makes hundreds of tax changes twice a year, and neither should we, he said. For once, a politician is sticking to his word.”

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Camilla Dell, Managing Partner at Black Brick commented:

“We have a more measured and sensible Chancellor who is withholding his big announcements for the Budget this autumn.  We see this in a positive light, as the London property market needs stability and to date there has been constant change and uncertainty.  The pledge of £1.7 billion investment to build 26,000 affordable houses in London by 2022 is good news, however, pumping money into the market alone will not solve the problem.  The Government needs to support Housebuilders and incentivise them to build the right type of accommodation Londoners need, in the right areas, at the correct price.   A healthy market isn’t just about supporting the bottom end of the market. The volume of transactions taking place across all price points is also important.  Stamp duty changes have crippled the London market, particularly in the prime and super-prime sectors, with volumes falling nearly 40% since stamp duty changes were introduced.  At Black Brick we have experienced transactions being choked by stamp duty and we are keen to see a review of the stamp duty hikes bought in by the previous Chancellor, which we believe will have a positive impact on the whole of the London property market.” 


David Ullathorne, CEO of Rectory Homes comments on the Spring Statement:

“The latest spring statement sets the tone for the budget this autumn, with housing firmly on the agenda. It is great news to hear the positive effects the recent stamp duty changes have had on first time buyers. At Rectory Homes we are launching a series of new developments over the coming months, which will offer a range of incentives including Help To Buy, to assist first time buyers in getting a foot on the ladder. We are looking forward to learning more about the Governments plans to work with 44 local authorities to deliver more affordable homes across the country.  

“With the Government’s announcement to double the Housing Growth Partnership fund to £220 billion, as a medium housebuilder we expect our business to benefit from this financial support.”

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Matthew Siddell, CEO of Quorum Property Club commented: “Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered an upbeat Spring Statement today with an emphasis on building an economy for everyone, and new figures reflected this with growth coming in higher than predicted for 2017 at 1.7%. Good news, in the short term, however the challenges Britain faces are likely to be long-lasting.

For housing in London Hammond announced an additional £1.7bn to deliver 26,000 affordable homes including homes for social rent in London by 2022. More good news, however, what is not clear yet are the methods that will be put in place to ensure this is not another housing pledge which is not met.

So while the temperature is due to fall again this weekend, the economic picture has certainly started to brighten, and we should expect a sunnier outlook from now on.”

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Angela Walsh, Sales and Marketing Director at Far East Consortium commented: “We welcome the plans to invest £1.67 billion to start building a further 26,000 affordable homes in London by the end of 2022, enabling more people to own their own home. Both the Stamp Duty reform and the fact the Government is working with 44 local authorities with their bids into the £4.1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to help build the homes that the country needs is very positive news.” 


New specialist Property Club, Quorum launches


A new exclusive community for property professionals has launched. Quorum invites those who want to focus on developments worth £1 million and upwards to join. The club is for individuals who want to form strong relationships with other people that are relevant to their goals and have lots of fun in the process.

Founded by Matthew Siddell, Quorum already has some some highly influential industry figures as it’s members and an advisory board which includes, Nicholas Cowell, Nicola Bremner and Piers Beckwith.

Elevate PR is proud to be appointed by Quroum to handle the PR for the club.


For further information please visit 

Cushman & Wakefield sign us up!

We are very proud to have been appointed to handle the PR for Cushman & Wakefield. The global estate agency has asked Elevate PR to work closely with its new homes team to generate exposure and awareness for its array of new developments which are set to launch in the coming months. 

Chanel Bailey, Director of Elevate PR commented: “We are thrilled to be working with Cushman & Wakefield. Our aim is to create awareness, exposure and press coverage for its new developments, assisting the sales team with potential leads and sales.”


 “Elevate PR has grown considerably since its inception just over two years ago and we are proud to welcome Cushman & Wakefield to our expanding roster of clients.”

Please check back for news and updates as we will be working on three new London development launches in March and April.

Elevate PR welcomes Rectory Homes to its client base

We are delighted to welcome Rectory Homes to our client base. The Home Counties developer, which is renowned for its exceptional product and unrivalled reputation is expanding its operation with a pipeline of new developments and imminent launches. 

Chanel Bailey, Director at Elevate PR commented: “We are thrilled to be working with Rectory Homes. The company has an array of interesting new developments set to launch in the coming months which we are really looking forward to talking about and generating lots of press coverage!”


Elevate PR will be implementing both corporate and site specific PR strategies for the developer.

For further information about Elevate PR, please check out the ‘About Us’ and ‘Our services’ section of the website and check back on our ‘News’ page for updates.


In the Financial Times - tech firms buoy up property in silicon London

Kay & Co, our luxury estate agent client has prepared an interesting new report which predicts property price rises as more global tech firms such as Facebook, Snap chat and Google move their HQ to London. Read their thoughts, along with buying agency Black Brick and global estate agents Savills on this new London Property trend here:


Luxury Estate Agent Kay & Co, is predicting a surge of interest in parts of central London, which are about to become London’s new tech hubs, as more global tech giants plan to open offices. Joining Apple in Battersea Power Station, Google in King's Cross, Twitter in Soho, Facebook and Instragam in Fitzrovia, is the latest tech giant – Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, which has announced it is moving its international headquarters to Fitzrovia - making them the latest in a series of tech companies to see promise in an independent Britain, post Brexit.

As tech giants move into these areas what does this mean for property prices?  Based on previous data from Cambridge, Reading and Oxford, which were all transformed into tech hubs, and which have all seen a surge in property prices of up to 60% in five years, Kay & Co is predicting a similar pattern in Fitzrovia, Soho and Kings Cross. New boutique schemes focused around these new tech and social media companies are ideal for investors, wealthy students and professionals looking for a property to be near work in the heart of central London as they offer excellent transport links, quality design and high specification finishes with porters / concierge and security.

Martin Bikhit, Managing Director at Kay & Co commented: “Now is the time to consider investing in Fitzrovia, Soho and Kings Cross. Tech giants are choosing to move their international headquarters, ramping up their investment in the UK. It happened to Cambridge, Reading and Oxford, where house prices boomed when tech companies moved in and we confident it will follow in London. Fitzrovia, traditionally an art area famous for the rag trade is fast becoming a creative tech hub and with Snap moving in, the area will certainly bring in a much younger crowd.”

Rental values in Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury & Soho averaged £659 per week for flats and £1,025 per week for houses in Q2 2017. Average flat prices in Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury & Soho are now 52% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £534 more per square foot.
Martin commented: “We have seen a new breed of buyers - lots of international investors and savvy domestic ones buying, as they know there will be a long-term supply of good quality, high earning, job secure tenants in these key areas. We are predicting that we will see further growth over the coming years, especially if the extra 3% stamp duty levy on buy-to-let is lifted.”

Despite Apple choosing Battersea with its 2,000 employees, this area is a less attractive investment when compared with Fitzrovia, Soho and Kings Cross. Flooded with too much stock, around 20,000 new homes planned, there is no control on supply and build in the area with rental prices driven down as a result. 

Martin added: “Supply in areas such as Fitzrovia, Soho and Kings Cross is being carefully controlled to ensure a flow of new boutique and high end apartment schemes in the coming years. This strategy ensures that property prices remain buoyant and rental yields fair. Regeneration of these areas is vital and with more tech and social media companies moving in, we are expecting there to be a rise in investors seeking properties to rent and professionals who want to be close to work in a vibrant buzzy business hub.”

There are several reasons why these giants are choosing London. Despite there being many other cities around the world less expensive, the weaker pound is attracting companies previously put off by high relocation costs. British universities continue to rank among the best in the world providing the next generation of young workers. Meanwhile the government has announced a number of measures to help businesses including £1.9bn on boosting the UK’s cyber security to make it a safer place to trade and conduct deals and £1bn in super-fast broadband and 5G technology. 

The new King’s Cross area provides companies and office workers with 3.4 m sq ft of space and 19 new buildings which have attracted Google – 2,500 employees, The Guardian Group, Universal Music Publishing and See Tickets with 1,000 employees.  Average flat prices in Kings Cross are now 48% higher than they were five years ago, with buyers paying £311 more per sq. ft. 53.7% of properties sold in Q2 2017 sold within three months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of central London.  Kay and Co is marketing a range of property for sale within these key areas. In Fitzrovia Gosfield Street, Marylebone is a second floor, two bedroom flat, situated on a quiet road priced at £1.1m. In Kings Cross, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, fifth floor apartment in the Plimsoll Building with parking priced at £1.55m, both would make excellent investment choices. 

For further information on Kay & Co and to view their properties to rent and buy in W1 and W2 visit

Bank changes mean more Indians are buying prime property in London


A relaxation of withdrawal allowanced by the Reserve Bank of India has resulted in more Indian buyers looking for property in London, it is suggested. Buying agency Black Brick has reported that 13% of deals this year have been to Indian buyers, up from 2.6% a couple of years ago and it believes this is because of the changes in banking regulation.

The changes announced by the Reserve Bank of India enables Indian families to take $250,000 of money per family member, amounting to $1 million per year for a family of four. Previously, the figure was just $100,000 per family member or $400,000 per year based on family of four. In the financial year 2013/2014 Black Brick says that 5.9% of deals were to Indian buyers and in 2014/2015 it was only 3% while in 2015/2016 the figure dropped further to 2.6% but has since risen considerably.

Indian buyers have become much more active in the prime London property market in recent years. The latest data from Cluttons released last month shows that between August 2016 and July 2017, Indian buyers now account for 22% of the total sales in central London, up from 5% in 2012.Indian property buyers are buying mainly for primary residences or to have a bolt hole in the city, a few are taking advantage of the exchange rate and buying for investment.

‘We have seen a marked increase in Indian buyers using our services and this is down to the amount of money that Indian’s are allowed to transmit out of India. The Reserve Bank of India sets exchange control limits with today’s amount $250,000 per family member, per year,’ said Camilla Dell, managing partner at Black Brick.
‘This is a significant improvement from a few years ago, when the amount allowed was under $100,000 per family member, per year. It means that a family of four, after one year, will have $1 million to spend, and after two years $2 million. It quickly adds up, and explains why a lot of our Indian clients are buying in the £1 million to £2 million range,’ she explained.

The latest figures from Black Brick show that from the 13% of Indian buyers so far this year, 6.5% were owner occupiers and 6.5% were managed sales, buying in Mayfair and Knightsbridge for primary and secondary homes.

Last year figures show 12% of transactions were to Indian buyers with 6% being for investment as buy to lets and 6% to owner-occupiers. The investors chose new build flats in Shoreditch and White City, whereas the owner-occupiers chose Mayfair for a primary residence and a period conversion in Regents Park as a second home.

Over 50% of Black Brick’s Indian clients follow the Vastu system, mostly older generations in their 40s and 50s, but Vastu is also important to younger buyers and many use a Vastu specialist when buying a property in London.

This limits what properties Indian buyers are interested in purchasing, as often architecture and design doesn’t comply with Vastu. As such, an increasing number are using property specialists to help with their searches.

‘Vastu can be challenging as it makes the property search tricky. If a kitchen is in the wrong position within a house it can scupper the whole deal. Investors are less worried about Vastu but if there is something specific about an apartment being unlucky, even if it’s a buy to let, that will influence their buying decision,’ Dell explained.
‘We recently had a client who bought two apartments in one development. They bought off plan so they could ask the developer to move doors to comply with Vastu. Therefore, often new build, off plan homes appeal as they can be tweaked accordingly,’ she pointed out.
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Savvy buyers are choosing to use buying agents more and more, saving them both time and money. Since April this year, Black Brick has acquired just over £40 million of properties. Clients have come from around the word including 20% from the Middle East, 20% from the UK, 13% from France, Nigeria, India and Russia and 7% from Switzerland.

‘Now is the time to buy property in London. People are saving more and spending less and with the favourable exchange rate, International investors can save thousands on their purchase,’ Dell added. 

Gorkana covers our rebrand

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This weeks PR news in brief: Here’s our round-up of essential PR news stories and features from the past week, including an interview with New Scientist’s Rowan Hooper, Remarkable Group’s rebrand and new hires for WATATAWA and Cognito.
Chanel Communications Ltd is set to rebrand to Elevate Public Relations.
The name change reflects the agency’s aim to raise its clients’ profile, products, and services in the media.
Industry News/by Alister Houghton 

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Buxmead featured in The Telegraph this weekend

Bespoke home scents, listening rooms... how luxury developers are offering multi-sensory living. The top tier of London’s latest developments has become multi-sensory experiences. These are places that don’t just look good; they also smell, feel and – in some cases – sound amazing too. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable in 2017.

The views from many of the latest central London developments are often so show-stopping, they grab your gaze the moment you enter and never let it go. Sometimes you forget to even look at the flat’s interiors at all.

The very best take in a roll call of London’s best landmarks, such as the penthouses at Goodman’s Fields in the City, where the final phase, Cassia House, launches this week, with one-beds from £1.04m. Famous bridges are always a sure bet for fantastic views too, including the £2.5m show flat at Queen’s Wharf, where Hammersmith Bridgelooks close enough to touch. Combining all of that are The Corniche(prices start at £3.6m) and The Dumont(prices from £665,000), two St James developments on Albert Embankment, which have Big Ben as their local timepiece and river vistas that span a succession of bridges.

In the new 31-storey Dollar Bay, it’s hard to know whether to fixate on Daniel Hopwood’s decadent interiors or the vistas of London at night as you bubble away in the Jacuzzi in the quadruple penthouse. Its name may sound like it’s straight out of Miami, but this is South Dock (in Canary Wharf), not South Beach, and there are numerous money shots for the multi-millionaire who buys this £3.2m bachelor pad. None, however, quite beats the scenes from the double-height, glass-walled room that is devoted to the Jacuzzi. It’s set up some steps just off the dining area – perfect for when dinner parties get either dull or fruity., a vast, shimmering modern chandelier cascades down the property’s three storeys. If anything can distract from what lies outside, it’s the lighting installations in top end properties. In the £21m triplex apartment at Similarly unforgettable in the £7m penthouse at The Hempel Collection - British Land’s reworking of Anoushka Hempel’s legendary 1990s hotel in Bayswater – is a £30,000 light sculpture called Flight by Haberdashery. Illuminated from above, its 500 individually-hung bone china leaves give the impression of a migrating flock of birds – and can be best appreciated from the mezzanine level that doubles up as a gallery space in these lateral apartments.

In one of the penthouses at Neo Bankside, next to the Tate Modern, lighting designer Sharon Marston has ensured that it doesn’t matter what the owners dish up because every guest’s gaze will similarly be pinned to the ceiling, where Marston has suspended hundreds of red leaves on fibre-optic strands in a one-off coral and silver chandelier above the dining table.

We spend more on candles than anywhere else in Europe – and smell has become a major selling point in new schemes, with many developers commissioning bespoke scents for residents.Among them are Buxmead in Hampstead, where remaining apartments cost £6.9m-£15m. The communal areas are infused with bespoke scents by Alexandra Soveral, including a particularly seductive patchouli and aged Vetiver in the screening room.remarkable church conversion in Mill Hill, on sale fully-furnished and dressed by Alexander James Interiors for £6m.The Chapel, The Berkeley Group’sAlternatively, you could get yourself a super-sized bottle of Culti Milano (£550 at Harrods), the Italian brand that invented the reed diffuser. Mighty 4,300ml bottles – that’s the equivalent of six bottles of wine – infuse the gargantuan spaces (think 90ft long living room and 45ft high ceilings).

It’s surely only a matter of time before developers start commissioning soundtracks for their properties in the way they do bespoke scents. Until then, it’s left to the luxury brands to provide aural temptation.

The £11.995m penthouse – now sold - at Chelsea Island comes with Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90 Ultimate Loudspeakers, which start at around £67,000. Merlin Dormer of Heaton & Partners buying agency, who has seen a number of new homes with this latest B&O bling, describes it as “the most amazing piece of sound engineering” he has ever seen.

Real music purists (or simply billionaires in search of another trophy room) are building their own acoustic sanctuaries in the form of "listening rooms". In one £80m London mansion, the technology looks surprisingly mid-century, but the specially-made speakers alone cost £1m.Others prefer perfect sound to be part of the experience in their private screening rooms. The Fitzrovia-based design company Cornflake are now building the first home cinemas in London with 3D sound to complete the full-immersion experience along with ultra high definition 4K vision. The whole package will cost from about £250,000. Cornflake have also just completed one of the world’s first in-house IMAX cinemas for £1m.

Otherwise, if you want to evoke a sense of luxury through sound, get yourself a Steinway. And if – like many of the wealthy sorts who buy Steinways, you can’t actually play the piano – get yourself a self-playing one, controllable by iPad.

In a new £23m development in St John’s Wood, Iggi Interior Design have used a Lalique Steinway Heliconia Spirio (£186,000) as the centrepiece.

The white Lalique Steinway in St John's Wood apartment by Iggi Interior Design

Sometimes, though, nothing can beat the sound of silence - as any parent knows. So does the odd developer. At Holland Park Villas in Kensington, where apartments cost from £2m-£16m, they’ve recruited a crèche company to keep the kids entertained with films and craft sessions on Saturday morning, while Circus West at Battersea Power Station has a weekend swimming club for kids and Lillie Square in Earls Court includes a children’s TV/play room as part of its clubhouse. All so that the adults get to sleep, work out or drink in peace.

Luxury properties have become truly tactile experiences these days – one that goes far beyond the artily-ruffled throws on the bed to entire rooms whose every feature calls out to be stroked. in Jermyn Street, a three-storey apartment with bespoke interiors by Oliver Burns. Now sold, it was on the market for offers in excess of £15m. The inspiration comes from Beau Brumell, the Victorian arbiter of gentlemen’s fashion, and from the street’s tailoring heritage – and great as it looked, it also demanded to be touched, from the silky bedroom walls, exquisitely handcrafted joinery, sumptuous rugs to the Aiveen Daly dining chairs, high-gloss tables, leather-lined display cabinets and the backlit onyx bar on the roofop terrace.Beau HouseThe ultimate tactile property this year was probably The Brummell penthouse at

Edible interiors are possibly a little way off, but taste as a suggestion of the lifestyle you could enjoy is catered to in abundance in posh properties. There are all the appropriate props – the bottle ofMoët by the bath, a gin bar on the terrace, the must-have cookbooks in the kitchen and niche bottles of olive oil. The pantry in a show flat at The Nova Building in Victoria which has been designed with Britishness as its theme

The £3.7m show flat at The Nova Building in Victoria, has been designed by Amos & Amos with “Britishness” as its theme, including one room dedicated to a trendy, modern pantry, stocked entirely with products from the cool, new purveyors at Nova Food. From here, you can watch the shenanigans of the rich and famous in the gardens of The Goring hotel across the road.

At Lillie Square in Earl’s Court, buy a flat from £775,000 and you get discounts in London’s only Michelin-starred pub, The Harwood Arms, just down the road. , where just one £5.4m apartment remains, you can eye up your neighbour’s wine collection in the basement bodega – where residents can buy storage space for 336 bottles for £25,000. Reassuringly, among all the boxes of premier cru Puligny-Montagny pushed to the front, there was sign of refreshing disregard for wine snobbery – a bottle of £10 Marks & Spencer prosecco.


Kay & Co to open new office in Kings Cross

Luxury Estate Agent, Kay & Co is delighted to announce that it is expanding its operation with the opening of a stylish new boutique office in Kings Cross. Situated on the ground floor of the Google building, the new offices at 6 Pancras Square, N1C, occupy a double frontage opposite Camden Council. Operating across Kings Cross and Bloomsbury, the new office will offer sales and lettings for those looking to purchase, rent or invest in this desirable up and coming urban oasis in the heart of London.

Martin Bikhit, Managing Director of Kay & Co commented: “This is an exciting time for Kay & Co. The expansion into Kings Cross and Bloomsbury fits in with our plans to open new offices in under-serviced areas with excellent growth potential.”

The new office will enable Kay & Co to service the pipeline of new build homes being developed by The Kings Cross Partnership and assist Google employees who are looking to rent in Kings Cross and further afield. Set to open in spring 2018, the Kings Cross office is the third to be operated by the luxury estate agent, who currently has two offices, one in Bayswater and the other in Marylebone. Specialists in the sale, letting and building management of the capitals finest and most exclusive properties and new boutique developments, the family run business is celebrating its 35th year, priding itself on its local knowledge and expertise and delivering the best advice and tailor-made solutions to its clients. Kay & Co’s international client base is built on relationships which span decades, many of whom come back again and again to receive its bespoke, personal service.

For further information please contact Kay & Co on: T: 020 7262 2030 or visit