John Lewis will continue building houses despite ‘extreme challenges’

John Lewis Partnership private rented housing covid-19 sharon white

John Lewis is committed to keep building homes even as boss Sharon White prepares to step down.

John Lewis strategy director Nina Bhatia toldbusiness/2023/10/06/johnlewis-vows-continue-building-houses-scheme-questions/”the Telegraph that the retailer’s commitment to its housing venture was “unwavering”, regardless of who replaces White as chairman.

Writing in the publication, Bhatia said “creating new, long term businesses is in the DNA of the partnership and was always intended by our founder.”

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Last December, the business revealed plans to build 1,000 rental properties on its land as part of a plan to diversify its business.

The homes would form part of the UK’s growing ‘built-to-rent’ property market as the Partnership seeks to raise standards in rental property, both through its role as a developer and a commitment to manage the buildings themselves.

But John Lewis has suffered a a multitude of setbacks in its flagship scheme to build more than 400 flats above a Waitrose in West Ealing.

Last month, advisers warned that it faced “extreme challenges” in making money from its scheme as planning documents revealed the development could result in a negative return of £57m for the business.

In the Telegraph, Bhatia admitted that John Lewis had “rightly” faced questions over why it was moving into property, but stressed the group would always prioritise its retail brands.

Bhatia added that John Lewis would manage its properties for the long term, rather than selling them off, stressing that the group would also provide as much affordable housing as possible and would work with local charities and communities to provide space for their activities.

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Otpotthon.hu Debuts Website Section Dedicated to Modern Homes

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Real estate portal Otpotthon.hu has created a separate category on its website for modern homes in new housing developments, looking to make life easier for those who want to get detailed information about this market segment before they start their plans, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

According to OTP Home data, the advertising price of new build properties has been steadily increasing for years, with the price per square meter of this type of property doubling in three years.

However, this increase has not been matched by demand – the number of inquiries for this type of property has stagnated since the beginning of the year, and by April had fallen.

“Otpotthon.hu is a constantly evolving and expanding platform where interested parties can choose from a range of offers that are updated virtually daily, according to their needs and possibilities. Simple, fast and easy to understand. We hope that the launch of the residential property sub-site will make it even easier and more convenient to search and choose the right property in this market segment,” says Zsuzsa Lipták, managing director of OTP Otthonmegoldások Kft.

The advantage of new-build residential homes is that these properties do not require renovation before moving in, and they also meet modern energy efficiency requirements, which is an increasingly important consideration for those looking to buy a home as utility costs rise.

The results of a previous national representative survey commissioned by OTP Bank show that when considering a property, after its location, price, type, and size, the condition of the property, especially its energy requirements, and the quality of insulation and windows and doors, are the most important factors.

Overall, energy efficiency is an important consideration for two-thirds of respondents when choosing the right home.

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