The NWPAs 2018: Award-winning homes
The North West Property Awards (NWPAs), sponsored by Stewart Milne Homes, returned to Liverpool celebrating a year of success for residential property across the region.
YM Liverpool brings you the homes deemed worthy of one of 2018’s coveted accolades, along with the property firms giving back to communities, working innovatively and showing they’re at the top of their game.
Curated by Natasha Young
Triple success for Welsh Streets, Toxteth
Placefirst was a major winner at this year’s NWPAs for its transformation of Liverpool’s Welsh Streets.
The company began breathing new life into Toxteth’s empty and neglected Victorian houses to create new two, three and four-bedroom homes for rent, and so far the results have been hugely successful.
The first phase is now complete, with all 24 homes having been reserved in 24 hours, and 70% of the 100-home second phase is reserved off-plan so it’s no wonder the impressive project won over the judges in three categories.
The team snapped up the ‘Regeneration Award’, ‘Best Affordable Housing Scheme’ and the ‘Judges’ Special Award’, with site managers Shaun Masey and Richard Jones, construction manager Oliver Crotch and commercial director Peter Adams on hand to collect the prizes.
Currently halfway through the Welsh Streets regeneration scheme, they described the awards as “inspiration for the work that’s still ahead”.
“With the [Regeneration Award and Best Affordable Housing Scheme title] we were judged against our peers, whereas [the Judges’ Special Award] is the recognition of what we’re doing within the community more than anything else,” added the team.
“For everyone to recognise that the scheme is as special as we think it is and the gamble that the company has taken, it’s impetus for the future – a springboard.”
Best show home
There’s one particular show home which is making an impression on house hunters venturing just outside of the Liverpool City Region.
‘The Highgrove’ at Redrow Homes’ Woodford Garden Village development in Cheshire scooped this year’s ‘Show Home of the Year’ prize, confirming its position as one of the best in the North West.
The five-bedroom home’s modern architecture and interior design, as well as its traditional craftsmanship, won over judges who were faced with a high standard of entries.
“We won it last year with the same development,” said Anna Evans-Kerr, Redrow Homes’ sales manager who collected the award at the NWPAs. “We entered another show home this year, ‘The Highgrove’, which is one of our really premium homes, and we’re absolutely delighted to win it for the second time.
“We’re absolutely over the moon and the NWPAs is something we’re really, really passionate about supporting and being part of.”
Best large new home development
The striking design and accessibility for first-time buyers and second steppers alike at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West’s Kew development wowed NWPAs judges.
The ambitious Southport masterplan will eventually see 669 homes built in total, and completed phases including Pavilion Gardens I & II and Victoria Mews are already home to more than 50 families.
The regeneration scheme was awarded the ‘Best Large New Home Development’ title with Andrew Taylor, planning director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes, hailing the recognition “super”.
“We’ve put a lot of work into the whole development,” he added. “We’ve done it in partnership with Sefton Council. It’s a unique design and we’re really proud of it.”
Best small new home development
For the ‘Best Small New Home Development’ judges were looking for standout homes in terms of design, specification and craftsmanship.
Liverpool’s City Residence scheme by Kingsmead Group, Fibre Architects and New Regen ticked the boxes and took the prize.
Craig McKibbin, managing director of Kingsway Group; and Martin Booker, managing director of Fibre Architects, reflected on the level of “technical construction that was designed in, then built and delivered” to achieve the award-winning results, adding: “It was a fantastic project and it was a fantastic team working on it.”
Winning property agencies & firms
As well as homes worthy of accolades, residential property firms were awarded for a year of achievements and success at the NWPAs:
• It was a spectacular celebration for Stewart Milne Homes, which became an award winner as well as the event’s headline sponsor. The housebuilder, which has been growing a Liverpool City Region presence with schemes in Knowsley and Wirral, was recognised for giving back to the areas and scooped the inaugural ‘Community Award’. “We’re delighted with the Community Award because we do, as a builder that’s not widely known in the North West, try our best to develop relationships within the communities we’re building in,” said sales manager Lynne Vogel.
• Kexgill fought off tough competition to win the NWPA for ‘Best Student Landlord’, which recognised outstanding service and accommodation for student tenants. “It’s amazing, absolutely fantastic [to get the recognition],” said branch manager and head of marketing, Antony Worswick. “There are three branches in the North West and they’ve all done fabulously well in the last 12 months.”
• Like any industry, the property sector is undergoing fast-paced changes which is why, in 2018, the NWPAs presented the first ‘Innovation Award’. Redwing Living was the worthy winner, having adapted to evolving needs for affordable homes. “The industry is changing so much because you’ve got the need for more affordable homes like Shared Ownership, and the need for resales as well as new developments is really important and that’s what we’re trying to recognise,” said senior sales advisor James Constable, with marketing manager Matthew Marshall adding: “It’s recognising a gap in the market, taking a chance and running with it which has paid off.”
• MSB Solicitors was handed a victory in the ‘Best Property Law Firm’ category for its outstanding customer-focused residential conveyancing services. “We’re so pleased,” said Tracey Quirk, a partner and head of residential conveyancing at the firm, on receiving the award. “The whole team works so hard to look after our clients and do what we do, and it is a team effort so it’s an achievement for everybody.”
• For the fifth year running Liverpool’s Abode was an NWPAs winner, once again picking up the ‘Residential Property Agency of the Year’ title. “It obviously shows we’re doing something right and that we’ve got an established reputation in the area,” said Crosby branch manager Michael Lynch who, alongside lettings manager Elizabeth Fairhurst, has celebrated all five of the company’s wins. The duo said they were “delighted” to receive another award.
“The awards were presented to a truly fantastic range of housing projects and firms around the North West.”
A thriving property sector in the region
“Our panel of expert judges was faced with a really high standard of entries in 2018, and any entrants who made the shortlist should be extremely proud,” says Kim O’Brien, director of Move Publishing which organises the NWPAs.
“The awards were presented to a truly fantastic range of housing projects and firms around the North West, demonstrating that the region’s property sector continues to thrive and succeed in the face of changes and challenges.
“I’d like to thank everyone who attended and made 2018 another brilliant year for the NWPAs, with special thanks to our judges and sponsors, and we look forward to recognising another year of achievements in 2019.”
The judging panel included Alastair Shepherd, director of Falconer Chester Hall; Lesley Martin-Wright, CEO of Knowsley Chamber and head of business growth at Knowsley Council; and Elaine Cunningham, owner of Elaine Cunningham Design Studio.
Category sponsors included Watts Commercial Finance, Redrow Homes, Bogans Carpets, Capricorn Kitchens, Anwyl Homes, Redwing Living and 360Vu, and Furnish That Room sponsored the drinks reception.