In this blog piece, you can find all the questions raised during our recent webinar on ‘The Downs’ and their accompanying answer. If you didn’t catch the webinar, you can watch it here

Is there sufficient demand for another housing development in Altrincham as there are several planned or in progress already?

Thank you for your question Keith. You provided a list of developments that are at various stages of progression in Altrincham at the time of writing. Here is an update based on the information we know on them.

St Johns Rd, Alderbank: 40 apartments/houses: This is now 50% sold with contracts exchanged. The sales office has only just opened.

Regent Rd: 70 apartments: This forms part of the redevelopment of the Regent Road car park, adjoining our site. The developer has to deliver a 300 space multi-storey car park first prior to starting the residential development. As such The Downs will come to market first. This scheme also has a commitment to affordable housing (given the site will mean the demolition of the council property there) that Trafford Housing trust has underwritten.

Regent Rd/New St: (Weavers Cottages) : This development is for 6 units.

Stamford New Rd, Bradbury House: Scheme is completed and sold to a company called Lomond Capital. It is operated as a private rental sector scheme and is fully let.

Clarendon House, 60 apartments: The consent for this development isn’t currently being brought forward.

Brown St, Hale – 22 apartments/house: Awaiting consent, development also includes a multi-storey car park.

Given the above, is there a potential for oversupply?

Altrincham has traditionally been one of the most affluent parts of Greater Manchester, and is a very attractive and aspirational place to live in the South Manchester area.

The town is very well known for its’ excellent schools, making it highly attractive to well healed young parents. Altrincham has also attracted a lot of people relocating from the South East, most notably when the BBC relocated a substantial part of their operations to Media City.

A recent development in the town (Altair) found that buyers are generally professionals in their mid-30’s that fully intend to move in as owner-occupiers.

In addition to the considerable investment in the town itself, Altrincham lies within short commuting distance to the Airport City (which is forecast to create thousands of new jobs), Trafford Park, Media City and Manchester City Centre (where Sky and Amazon have both just taken major office space) and boasts excellent public transport links.

We firmly believe all of the above evidence supports the case for further residential development in Altrincham, and given the examples above, we do not believe there is likely to be an oversupply problem.

What research or analysis such as population growth or Council strategic plans etc. has been done to validate the opportunity for The Downs? 

The town’s population is growing at a steady rate with residential development being matched by commercial, office and public realm development.

The success and draw of Altrincham Market has also turned Altrincham into a social/ tourist destination, with many visitors arriving in the town by tram from other parts of Manchester and Cheshire for a night out/ visit the independent food outlets.

All of the above adds to the appeal of Altrincham.

If sales of The Downs properties fall behind schedule, what impact will this have on capital repayment and risk to investors?

Like all of our property developments, the return of investors capital and interest is dependent on sales.

Remember, we always repay in the following order, as sales are secured.

  1. Investors capital in full (phase by phase)
  2. Investors interest (Phase by phase)
  3. After all investor capital and interest is repaid, the developer takes its’ profit.

It’s fair to point out that some of our previous developments have fallen behind schedule. There are ultimately many things that can delay development projects during the build and sales phase, however this hasn’t affected investors capital and interest returns to date.

Also, we have learned lessons from previous developments. For example, for The Downs we have a commercial arrangement with the building contractor that includes penalty clauses for delays during the build phase. This, in turn, incentivises them to complete the build without unnecessary delay.

Remember, investors capital and interest is ultimately dependent on the sale of properties, and while delays can and sometimes do happen, protection of our members’ investment is always our top priority.

How was The House Crowd able to buy the land instead of a competitor? Are there actually any competitors?

There was indeed plenty of competition to develop this site, and I’m pleased to say we were the chosen partner from 5 bidders!

We always try to work closely with the landowner and set out a realistic proposition, and in this case our transparent approach worked. We also have a big vested interest in this project as it’s situated in our hometown of Altrincham. The site is literally just a 10-minute walk from our offices.

As I’m sure readers will appreciate, there is a lot of work that goes on in the background before we ever get to the stage of presenting an investment opportunity like this, and fair to say we win some and lose some.

I haven’t registered yet at The House Crowd. How do I invest?

Start by opening your account!

We will also send you a Free Investment Guide that tells you more about how our peer to peer lending model works.

By opening your account you can also view the full investment summary page for The Downs, and our other investments. Remember our member support team are here to answer your questions too and decide if this type of investment is right for you.