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Insight: young development firm aims to transform homes in SE London and Kent

A privately-owned development company founded in 2016 by well-known property developer Ben Carrington is continuing to deliver on its plans to build 'aspirational, design-driven and ecological' homes in South London and Kent. 

Albemarle Property manages each development from acquisition, planning and design to development and through to exit. It aims to build high-quality spec homes for aspirational living, as well as employing a sustainable approach to property development. The company uses renewable energy where it can and is trying to implement a green approach to its developments – in line with the increasing demand from buyers and investors for eco-friendliness in their homes.  

According to Pourya Akbari, the firm’s investment manager, two projects have recently been completed in Beckenham, South East London, with two lots of nine units each. All the homes have already been sold.  


The Gardens at 100 Albemarle Road and The Albemarle at 98 Albemarle Road effectively join together as one project, and sit close to Shortlands station (with fast train services into London Victoria) as well as being close by to Beckenham Junction and Bromley South stations. 

Beckenham town centre is well-known for its vast array of independent cafes, shops, delis and restaurants – as well as its connections to music legend David Bowie – while Bromley is a popular area with a lively town centre in normal times. 

While both locations were major commuter hubs pre-Covid, this may be less important to buyers moving forward as remote working becomes the norm for many – in particular professionals who used to commute into the city. 

In the case of Beckenham and Bromley, though, there was enough there before the pandemic to mean people have everything they need on their doorstep, as well as some impressive green space in the form of Beckenham Place Park, Kelsey Park and Norman Park.    

What do the schemes include? 

The Gardens offers nine luxurious flats with large balconies. The mixture of two and three-bed homes were all eligible for Help to Buy, while there is also a penthouse apartment with its own lift. The ground floor units, meanwhile, offer private gardens.

Fans of ITV drama will recognise the flat below for its use in Flesh and Blood, the four-part mini series starring Imelda Staunton, Russell Tovey, Stephen Rea and Sharon Small, which aired in February 2020 just before the pandemic hit.  

The Gardens had just completed – and had no residents living there – when ITV came calling, and filming was completed in just a week. The timing was perfect, with the flats getting primetime exposure on ITV as the place where Russell Tovey’s character temporarily resides. 

The Albemarle offers exactly the same as The Gardens, minus the penthouse. The homes started from £530,000, and went up to £900,000, so certainly towards the middle to higher-end of the market, but they were snapped up quickly thanks to the sterling work of Lisa Knight – the recently promoted branch manager of Allan De Maid on Beckenham High Street – who sold all the flats in the blocks, which sit adjacent to one another. 

What more is to come? 

Akbari says there are other projects in the pipeline, including two schemes under construction in Tonbridge, Kent, which number 40 units in total. These sit right by the River Medway. 

Meanwhile, there are a number of other projects in planning in Beckenham, Bromley and other areas of Kent, as the business seeks to grow fast. 

The overall vision is to provide high-quality housing in South London and Kent, which continue to take a sustainable and innovative approach when it comes to new-build developments.  

Ben Carrington, the firm’s managing director and founder, said: “There is a fantastic opportunity to supply design-driven, luxurious accommodation which is made affordable by Help to Buy in the South East. We are extremely excited about the next 10 years of growth in our sector.” 

Akbari, who has a history in financial services and two science degrees from Westminster Business School and King’s College London, added. “Maximising quality and living space for our homeowners has and will always remain at the centre of our work.”        

You can find out more about the company here.  

More young people than ever looking to invest 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic tightening purse strings and house prices continuing to rise, more young people than ever are aiming to invest in property, according to the latest stats from leading North West property investment company RWInvest. 

The firm has seen a huge increase in UK property interest from young people, with a 171% boost in traffic from people aged 18-24. 

In 2018-19, approximately 6.5% of website traffic was generated by this age group, but in 2020 this increased to 15% of users. Meanwhile, among those aged 25-34 – often known as the millennial generation - there has been a 36% uplift in traffic.  

The company says this rise in traffic from young users is a far cry from reports over the past few years that young people cannot afford to purchase homes. The most significant decline in homeownership, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, has been among young people in the past 20 years. 

But RWInvest’s latest data suggests that more young people than ever are considering buying property as an investment, perhaps driven by the stability and reliability of property as an asset class in uncertain times. 

Julian Ramsden, director at RWinvest, said: “Our data shows that young people have not been deterred by the pandemic and the financial implications brought about with it. In fact, it seems more people than ever are looking into property. We have seen huge growth in interest from many age groups looking to start investing in UK property.” 

He added: “The faith in the UK market has never been higher, despite pressures from Brexit and Covid-19. It’s clear that the massive growth rates seen in the past 12 months will continue over the coming years. It’s a great time to invest.” 

RWInvest, founded in 2004, has offices in Liverpool, London, Leeds and Manchester, and specialises in buy-to-let residential and student investments. It says it works hard to provide its clients with the opportunity to invest in ‘the most exciting and profitable developments on the market’, often at below-market rates. 

You can download a free Brexit investment guide here and also read market reports, area guides and investment guides on the company’s tips and guides section


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