Revolutionising the prime market – one developer’s goal to shake up the system

14 September 2020 | Investment

A residential property and design consultancy for the prime and super-prime London market is seeking to disrupt the traditional model by offering an integrated suite of services to prospective buyers of homes in the capital’s most desirable areas.

Capital Place Properties, founded by property specialists Alexis Stellakis and Harry Helsby, recently announced the official launch of its bespoke ‘turnkey service’ providing UK and overseas clients with expert property advice. It also offers a complete in-house service from the initial stages of search and acquisition, right through to architectural transformation, interior design, furnishing and lighting.

Capital Place Properties seeks to identify choice residences before they become available on the open market. 

For affluent individuals without the luxury of time, or those with limited knowledge of the London market, the company’s ‘seamless service’ means buyers are able to source, view, buy, reconfigure, design and fit out their new properties without needing to employ third parties or approve the property in person.

Revolutionising the prime market – one developer’s goal to shake up the system

The firm says this all in-house solution is especially important for prospective overseas clients eager to invest in the UK’s prime market ‘where transparency, trust and dependability are paramount’.

“We believe that the traditional method of finding and buying properties is outdated, unnecessarily cumbersome and that we provide a better solution,” Stellakis said. “By integrating technology, in-depth knowledge of, and contacts in the London prime market with a portfolio of complementary services, we have created something that we believe to be completely unique.”

He added: “The experience of operating during the Covid-19 lockdown when we continued to win clients and progress projects has only further convinced us that this is the way forward.”

Although relatively young – 30 and 29 years respectively – Stellakis and Helsby ‘curated a wealth of experience’ in the prime London market before founding their business together.

Despite his degree in law, Stellakis opted to forgo a legal career and instead spent five years as a principal investor in prime real estate where he personally bought, developed and sold numerous properties.

Helsby, meanwhile, spent a decade in the Central London property market advising clients on their property acquisitions, redevelopment and sales, building on the legacy of his father Jeremy Helsby, the former chief executive of Savills.

A passion for interior design resulted in him enrolling at the prestigious Inchbald School of Design, where he earned a diploma in Architectural and Interior Design.

Between them, in the seven years before founding Capital Place Properties, the pair worked on more than £65 million of property transactions, ranging from one-bedroom apartments in Earls Court to seven-bedroom townhouses in Belgravia.

Revolutionising the prime market – one developer’s goal to shake up the system

Capital Place Properties aims to use the combined property and interior design expertise of its founders, as well as an extensive network of professional connections, to provide potential buyers with ‘unique, unfettered access’ to desirable addresses across Central London. The ability to transform interiors has been a keen driver of interest for potential buyers, it added.

“Our track-record speaks for itself, we do it all and we do it well,” Helsby explained. “We know that our clients value consistency through the buying process and prefer to deal with one person for all their needs rather than multiple third-parties.”

He added: “This client dependency means we need to be completely aware of market changes and the specific requirements of our current and future clients. For example, we know that the aspirations of buyers have changed dramatically due to the lockdown experience – extra room to work from home as well as outside space are now top of the priority list.”

Is now the right time to buy?

People will ask this question at the best of times, Stellakis says, but it’s particularly important at the moment with all that is going on with Covid-19.

“Admittedly, this has been one of the most turbulent times the sector has faced in living memory, but from the earlier stamp duty increase to Brexit and now the global pandemic, the London prime property market has retained its resilience and is still regarded as a secure and stable investment environment when compared to many other parts of the world.”

The firm expects to see rising demand from Hong Kong following the UK government’s offer of residency for up to three million people in the wake of the furore about new security laws in the semi-autonomous region.

Stellakis and Helsby believe that the pandemic has highlighted how outdated the traditional property buying model is, and how overly reliant it is on third parties. They argue that their model is more effective at providing the bespoke personal service that their clients expect. 

“The traditional process where clients have had to manage multiple third parties for acquisition, architectural transformation and interior design work inevitably puts additional cost and stress on the buyer,” Helsby said.

“By offering an all-in-one solution, we handle the entire process. Our clients depend on our insight and market experience to not only identify and source the best properties on the market, but to go the extra step and bring their vision to life through our bespoke interior design service, whether as a personal residence, a buy-to-let or to improve and sell.”

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–> This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.