Boutique developer Aitch Group, have constructed 170 new homes and 20 commercial units, totalling in excess of 64,000 sq ft of multiple usage, since April 2020 despite the pandemic, and report success in both sectors with 70% of the new homes sold and 90% of the commercial units occupied. The excellent location of the Aitch Group developments and access to green space combined with people’s habits and attitudes during the pandemic, drove leads and sales report Aitch Group, and future plans for developments have been inspired by buyer desires in a post-pandemic world. 

When the country locked down last year, the property development industry was forced to stop building and subsequently to change the way building was being done. Despite the challenges faced by the development industry, Aitch Group have seen a successful year having completed construction on 5 developments since 2020 with 92 total residential properties having been exchanged or completed on since the beginning of April 2020, with all construction and sales done abiding by social distancing and health safeguarding and following government guidance at the time. 

The importance of ‘home’ became unavoidable during lockdown in the UK and enquiry numbers soared for Aitch Group during the pandemic as people sat at home looking for their dream homes. Likewise, the number of enquiries from the more old-fashioned marketing channels soared, distinctly in tune with the weather. When the sun came out, people went out for their daily exercise, which involved walking or cycling along the canal. Buyers would see Aitch Group hoarding at developments such as Canal Place or Eagle Wharf and enquire straight away. 

Aitch Group began to use virtual tours of their developments during lockdown, to ensure health safeguarding was maintained, which was very effective at engaging buyers who were covid cautious. Sales agents also began doing a lot of zoom viewings with buyers with agents in apartments conducting live walk around tours. Aitch Group report that several sales were agreed with buyers who didn’t physically view the apartment.      

Many of the Aitch Group developments not only offer balconies, communal gardens and communal living space but also close proximity to parks such as Victoria Park. This resonated well with buyers currently living in homes with no or little outdoor space craving more having been stuck inside for so long.  Empress Works, for example, is under a 15-minute walk to London Fields, Haggerston Park and Victoria Park with the development boasting three large communal roof terraces and a central cobbled courtyard. 

Having built 20 commercial units totalling 64,151 sq ft, Aitch Groups success during the pandemic also spans commercial developments with 18 units overall across all developments having exchanged or completed, meaning 59,000 sq ft of commercial space is let with just over 5,000 sq ft remaining. Business owners found themselves dreaming and planning as much as homeowners, with Aitch Group developments ideally located to bring in plenty of attention for retail, or beautiful spaces for offices. This, combined with the Use Class E planning change that saw previously only office space, able to now accommodate exciting businesses, such as CrossFit Hackney Wick in the Bagel Factory development or Stronghold Climbing Centres in Canal Place, meant that units were available to a much wider network of commercial buyers. 

The shift away from traditional office space, since the pandemic, also means that developers who construct either mixed use or residential schemes must be more considerate of people working from home.  Aitch Group are already factoring this into our residential developments by creating more outside personal and communal space for residents along with creating home office space within the homes. 

The most recent Aitch Group completion is Park Place on Ballards Lane in Finchley which consists of the transformation of the former Finchley Metropolitan Police Station site into a new residential development providing 41 modern studio, one and two bedroom apartments, complete with retail space and opposite Victoria Park, providing stylish homes for buyers who wish to live near open green space whilst still being close to central London.Park Place is perfect for homeowners looking for a relaxed lifestyle in a leafy London community, yet within close proximity to a array of amenities and convenient transport links into Central London. 

The new apartments at Park Place, ranging in size from 410 sq ft for a studio apartment up to 924 sq ft for a two-bedroom apartment, are modern and comfortable. All the apartments are designed to be light and roomy, a breath of fresh air in a city that can often feel crowded, with each apartment benefitting from a cohesive design throughout. A perfect example of the excellent developments Aitch Group have successfully developed through the pandemic. 

Chelsea Reynolds, Director at Aitch Group says: “We are delighted with the success we have seen during the pandemic and we can put the excellent results down to the quality of our developments and their prime locations. Despite the difficulties we faced, ensuring our sites are COVID compliant and making sure we were able to continue construction, we have managed to complete 196 new residential units & 20 commercial units – adding to communities across London, all whilst following government guidelines. Park Place is an exceptional example of these developments with apartments, adjacent to a vast, leafy, open space whilst also surrounded by all that the Finchley community has to offer, and commercial space available – this offering really is rare to find in London.”