Larkfleet Homes on Blogger

25 Sep 2017

Well done to Kesteven Champion Tony

It’s not every day you get to meet a true community champion - with a certificate to prove it!

John Squire, a consultant with Larkfleet Homes’ sister company Allison Homes, recently had the pleasure of meeting Tony Farrow (on the left in our photo) who was named as Kesteven Champion in the Heart of Lincolnshire Community Awards.

Tony has spent the past 10 years dedicating himself to the Sleaford and District Voluntary Car Service. He set up the lifeline service with the help of his wife. Tony and his drivers have taken over 6,200 people to their hospital appointments in Lincolnshire, appointments that they would have missed without the service.

The Kesteven Champion award was sponsored by Allison Homes and John Squire was on hand to present it to Tony Farrow. John said it was a pleasure to meet Tony and to give him his award.

Keep up the good work Tony.


22 Sep 2017

Autumn boom time for new homebuyers

Autumn is usually boom time for house prices. Homebuyers have put the summer holidays behind them. Christmas is far enough off that most people are not (yet) worrying about paying for the festive season. Demand for new homes is at its highest and price activity normally gets a boost.

Well, that's what normally happens. But 2017, it seems, is not going to be normal.

This year, the usual Autumn price bounce has so far failed to materialise. In fact, there has been a fall of -1.2 per cent (-£3,660) in the price of property coming to market - the first since 2013.

Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “As we enter the Autumn selling season it is usual to see estate agents advising new-to-the-market sellers to push up their asking prices.

“But this year all four southern regions have seen new sellers on average asking less than those of a month ago, reducing the national rate of increase. There were Autumn price bounces nationally in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but the south of the country has turned this month into a bit of a damp squib, whilst some northern regions are still showing marginal signs of upwards price pressure.

“Estate agents are clearly advising many sellers that they have to lower their price expectations to fit in with buyers' stretched financial resources, with that price compromise hopefully generating extra buyer interest.”

Annual average wage growth is now outstripping the annual rate of price increase in newly-marketed property. Average wage rises are now running at nearly double the annual rate of property price rises, and the longer any meaningful differential is maintained then the greater the improvement in affordability. Having finally turned the tables to potentially improve their buying power, buyers will now be hoping that it is not eroded again by an interest rate rise or rampant consumer price inflation.

Affordability is still a major factor in the slowing pace of price rises but demand for the right housing at the right price remains strong. The numbers of sales being agreed by estate agents are 4.8 per cent higher than the same period a year ago.

The housing needs of growing families are harder to postpone than other more discretionary moves. This has resulted in average asking prices for typical second-stepper type homes increasing at over twice the overall national average rate.

With competition among lenders to lend, increasing wages and the lowest level of unemployment since 1975, buyers are still keen to buy if the property is worth the money and well-presented.
If more sellers appreciate that sensible pricing is the best way forward, then this will help to maintain good levels of buyer activity despite the uncertain political outlook.

There is a wide choice of well-priced homes in Larkfleet Homes developments in locations around the country. If you’re looking for a new home it’s time to take advantage of the upturn in affordability. Call Larkfleet Homes today. We’re here to help you make your next move up the property ladder.


21 Sep 2017

The prettiest town in Britain

We are lucky enough to live in a region that has some of the most attractive towns and villages in the UK. At its heart is Stamford, recently described by the Daily Telegraph as the prettiest town in Britain.

Is it any wonder that the town is a popular place to live?

Two recent Allison Homes developments at The Paddocks on Uffington Road and Anvil Mews, close to the town centre, were both snapped up!

So, what is it that makes Stamford so popular? It was recently voted one of the best places to live in the UK by The Sunday Times. It boasts many 17th and 18th century stone buildings, even older timber-framed buildings and five medieval parish churches. The town hosts an annual Georgian festival and international horse trials come to Burghley every September.

The town draws people from a wide area for the pleasure of shopping, often in traffic-free streets and lovely stores in old and quirky buildings. There is a wealth of independent shops, tea rooms and restaurants to enjoy. There is also a market every Friday.

Originally a walled town, Stamford still retains sections of the old wall and many original medieval buildings have been preserved. Its distinctive character was retained when the then Marquess of Exeter, whose family seat is nearby Elizabethan gem Burghley House, successfully opposed the coming of the mainline railway in the mid-19th century.

The rail hub was moved to Peterborough, 20 miles to the east, which grew rapidly, losing its market town identity in the process. Stamford escaped the rampant development of the past 50 years and it was named the UK’s first conservation area while Peterborough became a New Town for London’s urban overspill.

Stamford is a beautiful place to live and visit. Historic buildings abound, with the medieval St Leonard’s Priory and Burghley house just a short walk from the centre of town. A prosperous coaching town in the 18th and 19th centuries mid-way between London and York, Stamford gave rise to some fine hostelries including The George Hotel and the Bull and Swan Inn. It was said that at one time Stamford had more public houses and more churches per head of population than anywhere else in the country.

Both Larkfleet Homes and Allison Homes have developments within easy reach of Stamford, including Buttercross Park in Oakham, Bourne Heights in Bourne and Pinchbeck Fields, near Spalding.


19 Sep 2017

Stuck for storage?

Families attract clutter. We all gather lots of ‘stuff’ as we go through life. Moving to a new home is an ideal opportunity to have a look at new storage solutions. Your new home looks lovely but the clean lines and crisp colours could be spoiled by stacks of unsightly plastic trays and boxes.

If space is at a premium, there are many solutions to help you make the most of spaces in bedrooms and living rooms. To give you some inspiration we have listed some here.

Alcoves
Alcoves give you ideal space to fill in with seamless floor to ceiling shelving. You could include cupboards with sliding doors to help tidy your stuff away, out of sight. You could also use an alcove to build in a home office, an ideal space for the kids to do their homework. Fit some flush doors to hide the open shelves from view when the space is not in use.

Media storage
Modern living rooms can get cluttered with books and magazines, CDs and DVDs. And TVs can take up a lot of valuable space in the room. Make the TV the focal point of the room and build a series of units around it. Moveable stands with storage space are great or – if money is no object – why not develop a bespoke solution?

You could also fill whole walls with shelves, using your books, ornaments or family pictures as part of your overall design. You could also use more traditional free-standing solutions like bookcases, dressers or cabinets.
If your space is open plan, use storage solutions to divide up the space into different areas.

Kitchens
Use every inch of space in your kitchen to maximise your storage. Use pull-out cupboards with shelves and racking or sliding doors on cupboards to make the most of the available space.
Why not investigate multipurpose cubed storage solutions available from major modular furniture and DIY retailers?

Hallways and utility rooms
Halls and utility rooms often get cluttered up with boots, shoes and coats. Why not have a look at hooks, hangers and stands. Modular solutions will help to provide a space to tidy away all those boots and shoes.

Bedrooms
Stuck for storage space in the bedroom? Use the headboard as storage by building in drawers. In children’s rooms, use the space under the child’s bed to stow away toys and clothes. You can nestle pull-out boxes under bed spaces and use narrow shelving solutions to maximise space.

Outside
One of the things that will take up a lot of exterior space are your bins. There seems to be a bin for everything these days. Keep them together and out of sight with a bin store.

Whatever you chose to do with your storage space, enjoy your home!


18 Sep 2017

All the gear and no idea

There’s lots of advice about DIY home makeovers right now. Most of us are ready and willing to give our homes a makeover. But sometimes the ability to complete the job doesn’t match our enthusiasm, especially among younger DIYers.

According to research from Nationwide Building Society, more than two thirds of us are happy to take on non-building DIY jobs like painting and decorating. And it also seems that many of us are kitted out with plenty of gear, including drills, hammers and ladders, to take on most DIY scenarios.

We don’t always know how to use our tools though. DIYers can be prone to the occasional DIY disaster. Most of us have spilled paint on the floor or overspent on a project. One in seven us of has even drilled through a water pipe causing a flood.

There is a bit of a generation gap when it comes to our confidence in our own DIY skills. According to Nationwide’s research, it’s the younger generation who are apparently most confident that they can take on all manner of DIY jobs. One in five 18 to 24-year olds say that they are fully proficient in DIY. They believe that they can tackle any job, no matter how large or complex. The older and wiser among us are more pragmatic about our skills. Fewer than one in ten of those aged 55 or older say they are happy to tackle the more difficult DIY jobs.

When it comes to the actual DIY abilities of the younger generation the tables are turned. In the youngest age range, 18-24, only two thirds (63 per cent) say they can change a light bulb, under half (45 per cent) can change the time on household clocks, while only a third can change a fuse or bleed a radiator. In addition, a mere 17 per cent can locate and turn off a stop cock and only 15 per cent can rewire a plug. Even with the jobs they might be thought to favour, only half (49 per cent) can tune a TV and less than one in five (19 per cent) say they can install home entertainment equipment.

This compares with an older generation apparently much more used to doing it themselves, with the over 55s saying nine in ten (89 per cent) were ready to change a lightbulb, four in five able to change the clocks (77 per cent) and change a fuse (81 per cent), and more than two thirds ready to bleed radiators (71 per cent), find and turn off a stop cock (74 per cent) and rewire a plug (69 per cent). Nearly four in five (77 per cent) will tune a television and a third (30 per cent) can install a home entertainment system.

Many people aspire to make improvements but may not have all the skills they need to make a positive difference. In fact, they are more likely to end up botching the job or making mistakes that may lead to much higher extra costs and extra spending later to put it right. It’s significant that many would-be DIY enthusiasts end up regretting both the amount of money spent and the accidents that can prove costly along the way. However, people also feel it is important to regularly refresh the appearance of their homes or tackle larger jobs to reflect their changing needs.

Sometimes, moving to a new home that includes the features that homeowners to aspire to, such as a large open plan kitchen/diner, conservatory or en-suite bathroom will remove risk of disasters. Buying a new home from Larkfleet Homes gives buyers the opportunity to move into their dream home without the need to do anything to it. It’s still a good idea to brush up on those basic DIY skills though. You never know when you’ll need to change a light bulb or a fuse or re-tune the telly.


12 Sep 2017

The kids are alright - Bedroom makeovers

Thinking about giving your kids' bedrooms a makeover? Stuck for ideas? The good news is, there is no end of ideas out there to give you inspiration if you are thinking about changing or redecorating a child's bedroom. You only have to look on social media sites like Pinterest and Houzz to seethe ideas are endless.

It is worth remembering though that kids are as individual as us adults. They have their own personalities, interests, likes and dislikes. So, bear this in mind when you are considering your makeover.

Not only that. Children seem to gather as much, if not more, 'stuff' around themselves than grownups. Any makeover of a child's bedroom will need to consider de-cluttering and storage.

Here are a few tips for getting your child's bedroom makeover just right, so it suits the overall look and feel of your house and gives your child a space that they will love and want to spend time in - not just sleeping.

Theme
Age and gender will dictate your choice of theme. Find out what your kids are in to - if you don't already know. Younger boys will no doubt be mad on pirates or superheroes, Star Wars or football. Girls on the other hand may be more interested in Frozen, gymnastics or their favourite YouTuber.

Pre-teens and teenagers will be different. The things they were interested in as younger children may not excite them anymore and planer themes might be more suitable. That will allow them to personalise their space with their own accessories.

Don't conform to stereotypes though. Make sure you involve your child in choosing a theme. Make sure they will get a room they will love.

Colours
Once you've got a theme you'll need to get a colour scheme sorted. Depending on the theme, you could be looking at bold primary colours, stark contrasting tones or soft pastel shades.

You might be using blues and reds to compliment Superman or the softer pastel shades of a Disney Princess.

When you are choosing your colours, don't forget that the bedroom should be a place where your kids can relax and sleep easy.

Accessories
There are all kinds of things you can include to compliment the design of your child's bedroom. Bed linen and curtains should match the theme and colour scheme. Remember, you need to consider comfort and practicality. Blinds or curtains should shut out enough light to aid sleep. There's nothing worse than a child waking up at the crack of dawn in the summer because the blinds of curtains don't cover the windows properly.

Lighting is also important. Choose relaxing themes. Lamps and lampshades can be included to add more interest to your chosen theme.

Add some activity for active kids. If you have some, what about including a climbing wall? Add built-in space for hobbies like trains, Scalextric or collecting. And for older children, you might want to add some space to accommodate gaming accessories or sports gear.

Try to keep furniture functional - but make it fit your theme. Fill wall space with murals relating to the theme or add pictures and photos in creative ways.

Storage and organisation
Do you find yourself tripping over toys or walking over Lego bricks in bare feet? Storage is important. It will stop you hopping around in pain and help to maximise the space in your child's room.

Use cupboard space, wardrobes, shelves and hangers to store your children's stuff. Maximise space by choosing beds with draws underneath. You could even add space-age racking to hang up gaming accessories or toys.

Add display space so your kids can show off models, toy figures or art work. Just make sure your storage options match the themes you have chosen.

Workspace
School age children will need a calm space, free of distractions, where they can do their homework or enjoy some downtime with a favourite book.

Include a bookshelf, desk and chair, but make sure there are enough power points so that they can plug in their laptops or PCs if they have them.

Where space is at a premium, why not build a work space into a bunk bed solution?

Chill out
When you are re-doing your children's bedrooms, remember that whatever theme you pick, make the space restful. Make it a space that your kids want to spend time in and one where they will be able to work and play.


08 Sep 2017

Looking for your dream home?

It seems that many of us are still looking for our dream home. Have you found yours yet? Well, according to new research from the Halifax, the chances are you haven't.

According to its report Dream Abode, just one in five of us (22 per cent) lives in our dream home. And it's not just the value of the property that brings happiness. Almost two thirds of us (62 per cent) who live in house worth more than £500,000 say their current house isn't their dream home.

A dream home has the kitchen at its heart. Halifax's research reveals that a new kitchen takes the top spot on Britain's 'dream home' wish-list (cited by 37 per cent of homes owners), followed by bigger rooms (22 per cent), extra bedrooms (19 per cent) and extra bathrooms (17 per cent).

At Larkfleet Homes, we offer a Personalised Home scheme. In return for using the services offered bu our recommended financial advisors or solicitors to complete the purchase of your new Larkfleet home, we will give you £500 towards making your home yours. Why not put this towards upgading the kitchen and truly making your dream home?

Melanie Backe-Hansen, historian and author of House Histories, said: "The way we live in our homes is evolving.

"The place of the kitchen has changed dramatically. In this study, it takes top spot on Britain's 'dream home' wish-list yet, in historical terms, the kitchen is a relatively modern invention. Where once you'd be lucky to have running water, today it's the ultimate status symbol and where we do most of our entertaining.

"A lot has changed in the past 150 years, but we will continue to aspire to our dream home."

At Larkfleet Homes we have a range of developments in exciting locations, with homes ot suit all tastes. So why not come and find your dream home?


06 Sep 2017

September tips for home and garden

Although the weather is still mild, you may have noticed a slight chill in the air and the evenings drawing in. Summer is waning and Autumn is nearly here. With it comes a list of things to do around the house and garden to get your home ready for the season. So, here is a quick checklist to help you get prepped and ready for the cooler months ahead.

Get Cosy:
Swap your lighter duvet for the heavier Winter one and put some throws or blankets on the sofas. Add some cushions and perhaps some heavier rugs on bare floors.

Order the fuel:
If you are lucky enough to have wood burners, order in the fire wood. Don't forget to order any solid fuel that you need and make sure your oil tank is topped up if you have oil fired central heating. Check chimneys and fireplaces are clean and clear.

Stay safe:
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace old batteries and check expiration dates of any fire safety equipment you may have.

Check your gutters:
One of the most common causes of damp is in the home is a blocked gutter. Check your gutters and drains and remove any old leaves, moss or other material that may have built up.

Service heating:
Make sure central heating is running well. Think about getting the boiler serviced and make there are no airlocks in the radiators. Test the thermostat nd make sure it's working properly.

Garden chores:
Cut the grass, rake out the old dead grass and moss and apply lawncare such as a weed and feed treatment. Prune roses and other shrubs abd trim hedges and have a think about planting some Spring bulbs. Daffodils are traditionally planted in September and early October, while tulips are left until a little later in the Autumn. And if you have a pond, net it over now to stop leaves clogging it up.

Care for exterior wood:
While the weather is still dry, it's the perfect time to paint sheds and fences and check facias, soffits and windows on the house.

It won't be long before we lose our daylight hours, so make the most of these autumnal months to you prepped for the winter ahead.


05 Sep 2017

Back to school

The new school year has started and the parents among us have breathed a collective sigh of relief as our kids start their new school or college. Hopefully, they have got a place in their school of choice. Sadly, our children don't always end up where we would like, prompting us to consider measures to get them into the best schools.

Often, concerned parents will seriously consider moving to a house in the catchement area of their school of choice to secure a place for their child, even if it's miles away from where they live currently.

According to new research from Santander Mortgages, one in four parents with school age children have either bought or rented a new property to secure an address within their desired school's catchment area. The study also found that those families willing to move are prepared to spend a 12 per cent premium for their desired catchment area.

Parents are going to great lengths to be within those sought after catchment areas, with their sacrifices going far beyond the financial. These sacrifices include changing jobs, downsizing, overstretching themselves financially or moving miles away from family and friends altogether.

This trend looks set to continue as 40 per cent of parents who expect to move home before their children leave school say catchment areas will dictate where they choose to live.

Living within a certain school's catchment area is top of the wish list for many families. Larkfleet Homes has you covered in many areas with excellent educational options. Have a look at our latest developments for more information.


30 Aug 2017

Dog show sponsorship success


Larkfleet ring dog agility show
We were getting down with the dogs recently at the Empingham Dog Training Club agility show. It was held at Rutland Showground in Oakham and this year we sponsored one of the main competition rings at the show.

More than 1,000 people from across Lincolnshire, Rutland, Leicestershire and beyond came to camp and compete with their dogs - 4,000 of them.

The show is an important event in the dog agility calendar. It plays host to Crufts and Olympia national qualifying days, so top championship judges were officiating at the show. Lynne Shore, one of the country's most respected judges was judging in the Larkfleet Ring on Friday.

Oakham in Rutland is an excellent location for dog lovers who are looking for a new home. Larkfleet Homes has nearby developments at Langham Barns and Buttercross Park in Oakham. Both developments are within easy reach of beautiful countryside to walk your dogs in. Rutland Water is also nearby.

The friendly Empingham Dog Training Club is just up the road. Why not join and improve your dog's training? Who knows? You may have a future Crufts champion on your hands!


29 Aug 2017

Another hamper give-away!


It seems that we're developing a bit of a 'hamper theme' on the blog this week. Yesterday we were writing about a hamper being given away at Thorney Abbey Flower Festival and today it's about another hamper at another local event, Baston in the Blitz.

Karen Brown from Morton was the lucky winner of a Pimms hamper being offered by the Larkfleet Homes team to the crowds who flocked to turn back time to the 1940s and 50s.

Pictured are Larkfleet’s Will Wallace (left) and Mallory Matthews (right) handing over the hamper to Karen.

Larkfleet Homes handing over hamper


We have recently obtained planning consent for a further phase of development at The Croft in Baston. It's too early to say yet when we'll be on site and when the first of the new homes in this over-55s development will be ready - planning permission is just the start of the process.

Watch this space, as they say!


28 Aug 2017

New home for hamper

Let's hope the summer weather holds - because one lucky winner in the raffle at the Thorney Abbey Flower Festival today walked away with a summer picnic hamper. Well, they may not have walked far if they were carrying the hamper. It's heavy!

It has been a delightful warm (or even hot) Bank Holiday Monday (what a change from the traditional British bank holiday weather!) for the event with flower displays in the Abbey and stalls on The Green.  It would be a shame if the weather changes and prevents the hamper being used at the picnic it is designed for.

We've packed it with all sorts of goodies including wine, cheese, biscuits, chutney, jam and more. It really will make a splendid 'al fresco' meal for the lucky winner and a few friends or family.

The Larkfleet hamper for the Thorney Abbey Flower Festival now has a new home

The Larkfleet picnic hamper now has
a new home - until it's used!

We've also been pleased to welcome lots of visitors today at our show home at Thorney Meadows. We're open there all week (and next weekend too) whatever the weather. Why not come and take a look?


25 Aug 2017

When they’re gone – they’re gone

Just two properties remain unsold on the Langham Barns development by Larkfleet Exclusives – a collection of luxury 2 and 3 bedroom bungalows in Barleythorpe on the edge of Oakham.

As you would expect in a Larkfleet Exclusives development the properties are built to the highest standard of traditional craftsmanship and with outstanding attention to detail. Designed with modern living in mind, the homes are spacious and well laid out, with top-of-the- range fittings and fixtures.

Barleythorpe itself is a pretty Rutland village located between the village of Langham and the market town of Oakham which has a wide range of national and independent shops, pubs and restaurants. It is home to Oakham School, a renowned public school, as well as the well-regarded state sector secondary school Catmose College which is located between Barleythorpe and the centre of Oakham. There are a number of nearby primary schools and nursery facilities.

For commuters, the Birmingham to Peterborough railway line runs through Oakham, providing links to both of these cities and to Leicester, London and Cambridge. Road users are well catered for with excellent links across the country.

Naomi and Sally - Larkfleet sales advisors at Langham Barns

Naomi and Sally are waiting for your call.

For further details of a new home at Langham Barns in Oakham please call 01572 722262 and talk to one our sales advisers - Naomi Sarfaty-Wells or Sally Astbury.

If you act swiftly you could get £2,000 towards Stamp Duty, appliances and turf on Plot 4 which is our featured home of the week*.

*Terms and conditions apply.


22 Aug 2017

Midlands property boom

OK – we’re talking property prices again. But when you see a headline like “House prices: Northants leads Midlands 'mini-boom', says Rightmove” you have to take a look, don’t you?

Acccording to a report in The Guardian newspaper, property website Rightmove says that buyers priced out of London are snapping up cheaper homes across the middle of England in locations with good commuting links.

Larkfleet has new homes for sale in Corby

Larkfleet is building in Corby, Northamptonshire, as well as
other Midlands 'property hotspots' identified by Rightmove.

The paper quotes Rightmove as saying that asking prices in Northamptonshire have jumped by 9.1 per cent in the past year.

Apparently locations across the middle of England, not just Northamptonshire, are experiencing a ‘mini-boom’. Counties singled out for comment include Norfolk (where prices are up 7.4 per cent on last year) and Nottinghamshire (7.0 per cent).

Despite these rises, prices in these counties remain much lower than in London where, although the rise over the past year was only 1.6 per cent, the average asking price for a home is more than £629,000.

So, what does it all mean for Larkfleet home buyers? Well, rising prices is good news, we guess, if you already have a house on our latest developments in places such as Corby in Northamptonshire. And maybe they are a bit of a ‘wake-up call’ if you haven’t yet bought.


21 Aug 2017

Larkfleet Homes parent in line for major skills award

Bourne-based housing and development organisation The Larkfleet Group of Companies (www.larkfleetgroup.co.uk), parent company of Larkfleet Homes, has been shortlisted for one of the construction industry’s most prestigious awards.

The group is one of just eight firms nationwide to win through to the final of the ‘Skills Initiative’ category in the Building Awards (http://www.building-awards.com/building-awards-2017-shortlist/).

The judges have been impressed by Larkfleet’s support for a number of training initiatives. These include not just its own apprenticeship and graduate recruitment programmes but also its backing for local colleges and schools and its sponsorship of the Greater Peterborough University Technical College (GPUTC).

Students at GPUTC with the model house donated by Larkfleet

Photo caption: Students at GPUTC working with the model house
donated by the Larkfleet Group of Companies.

GPUTC is based in a £12 million state-of-the-art building that opened in September 2016 in the centre of Peterborough. It focuses on engineering and the built environment, providing courses for 14 – 19 year olds, and aims to educate the city’s future engineers, designers, architects and construction specialists.

Larkfleet has been involved with GPUTC since before the first plans were drawn up and group CEO Karl Hick sits on the school’s board of governors.

Steve Warburton, principal and CEO of GPUTC, says: “Larkfleet’s support is invaluable to our students. The company is assisting us to provide real hands-on experience of industry that helps to prepare students for the world of work.”

Combining academic study, vocational training and practical work experience, GPUTC delivers education based on ‘learning by doing’. It guarantees all its graduates a job interview with one or more of its industry sponsors at the end of their time at the school.

High standards reflecting workplace practices are the norm. Expectations of attendance, punctuality and conduct reflect those in the best of workplaces.

To assist with students’ learning, Larkfleet has given GPUTC a scale model of a typical timber-framed house built by Larkfleet Homes which can be taken apart and re-assembled using a set of drawings which Larkfleet has also supplied.

The model helps the school’s students studying the built environment to understand how a modern house is put together as well as getting to grips with topics such as architectural design and planning.

The model house has proved to be such a success at GPUTC that a similar one has now been produced for New College Stamford – one of several other colleges with which Larkfleet has developed relationships.

Larkfleet is working with younger age groups in schools as well. It recently hosted a visit by year five and six pupils from Cottesmore Millfield Academy at its building site in Oakham during which the youngsters interviewed staff about careers in the construction industry.

Karl Hick says: “Investing in the future of the construction industry by supporting local young people in their training and development has always been part of Larkfleet’s ethos.

“Continuous investment in training is essential for the future of this industry. Construction and home building are becoming high-tech operations. The industry will increasingly require more of the brightest and best young people in all trades and professions.

“The type of people we will need to support successful housebuilding in the future will range from ‘hands-on’ craft and trades people for our construction sites to engineers, scientists and technicians who will shape the industry’s future in research and development laboratories.

“We believe housebuilders must invest in training and provide young people with the skills that will shape the future for the UK construction industry. Otherwise the industry has no future.”




19 Aug 2017

Thanks for a record year

Thanks to our fantastic customers, Larkfleet Homes has just completed a record year.

In the twelve months to the end of June 2017 the company built 399 homes, an 83 per cent increase on the previous year. Financial turnover was almost £80 million for the year, up from £49 million in 2016.

Larkfleet building new homes

The figures include results from both our brands – Larkfleet Homes which builds timber-framed homes and Allison Homes which builds traditional ‘brick and block’ constructed homes.

The core of our activity is still in Peterborough, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. However, we have recently launched subsidiaries in Scotland, the South West of England and in Norfolk & Suffolk – extending our reach across most of mainland Britain.

We are hoping for even better results this year. The new South West England operation which sold 20 homes last year plans to sell more than twice that number this year. Other parts of the company are also expected to substantially increase sales.

Larkfleet recently secured a £35 million loan from Cheyne Capital Management to finance our expansion plans. The loan will enable us to expand the company’s operations and invest in existing and new sites.

Larkfleet is already one of the UK’s top 50 housebuilders and this funding will allow us to grow even more.

Karl Hick, CEO of Larkfleet Homes, said: “The house building industry has been through some difficult years recently. However, I am pleased to say that Larkfleet weathered the storms of the recession and we are rapidly expanding our activities.

“We are now building more houses on more sites than ever before.

“In all the places where we are active we are delivering high quality and energy-efficient new homes that will enable people to ‘get a foot on the property ladder’ and help to tackle the nation’s housing crisis.”

And we couldn’t do any of this without the people who have bought our new homes. We are very grateful for your support.


16 Aug 2017

Spurs top of Premier league – for house prices

New research from Halifax shows that Tottenham Hotspur is top of the league when it comes to house price growth. "Watch us rise" seems particularly good as a slogan!

Halifax looked at house prices of properties near the grounds of all 49 football clubs that have played in the Premier League since 1992 over the past 20 years to see which areas had done best and worst in terms of price growth.


The research found that, since 1997, the average home value in the postal district surrounding Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium has risen over seven and a half times (655 per cent), from around £60,000 in 1997 to more than £450,00 now.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “As we welcome the 26th Premier League season, it appears that success on the field has rubbed off on property prices in the areas surrounding the grounds of many of the nation’s top flight clubs.

“In the last 20 years, average house prices immediately outside some of the country’s top clubs have seen rises that far outstrip the country as a whole, with some areas also benefiting from the associated infrastructure improvements that come with clubs moving to new stadiums.”

The average house price near all 49 past and present Premier League football clubs has risen by an average of almost £244,000 (equivalent to 326 per cent). Current Premier League sides have performed better than those relegated with a rise of £234,000 (336 per cent) compared to £250,000 (320 per cent), although both outpace the average growth of £207,000 (283 per cent) for England and Wales as a whole.

West Ham United are runners up with house price growth of 611 per cent  whilst Charlton Athletic, with growth of 583 per cent, is the highest for a club no longer in the top flight (relegated 2007).

The top 20 clubs in terms of house price growth are split evenly between previous and current Premier League sides.

Last year’s Premier League champions Chelsea take the title for the most expensive area to live, with an average house price of more than £1,108,000 for homes around Stamford Bridge. North London rivals Arsenal (£763,000) and Tottenham Hotspur (£450,000) are in second and third place respectively.


15 Aug 2017

House building slowing? Not at Larkfleet!

Latest figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC) show that the number of new homes built in both the East of England and the East Midlands in the second quarter of this year – the three months from April to June – were lower than in the same three months last year.

Across the UK as a whole, 40,343 new homes were registered during this period in 2017, a marginal 1 per cent decrease on the 40,810 registered 12 months ago.

29,123 homes were registered in the private sector, representing a 7 per cent decrease on the same period a year ago (31,381), with 11,220 new homes registered in the affordable sector, a 19 per cent increase on 2016 numbers (9,429).



The continued rise in the affordable sector can be attributed to a number of larger housing associations developing homes for market rent, private sale and shared ownership along with a rise in joint ventures with the private sector.

Six out of the 12 UK regions experienced growth in registrations, when compared to the same period last year. West Midlands, Scotland and Wales were among the regions with most notable growth.

Commenting on the latest new home statistics, NHBC Business Development Director Neil Jefferson said: "New home registrations have remained stable in the second quarter of this year, with some areas of the UK seeing significant increases in registration volumes.

"With demand for housing as strong as ever, the growth seen in the affordable sector is particularly encouraging."

At Larkfleet – active mostly in the East of England and East Midlands – we’re pleased to say we are building more homes on more sites than ever before.

You can check out what we are currently doing on the development page of our website here. And you can see the full NHBC statement here.


14 Aug 2017

Where to buy to avoid the bombs?

In what probably takes the prize for the worst taste publicity stunt in the housing market this year, estate agency Emoov has published a map showing the impact of nuclear weapons on the UK if the nation’s top 20 cities were targeted by missile strikes.

The move followed escalating tensions between North Korea and the USA with some ‘nuclear sabre rattling’ by both sides last week. Fortunately, the rhetoric seems to have calmed down a little this week, so we are maybe not facing nuclear apocalypse in the immediate future. And, looking on the bright side (if there is one), the UK is out of range of current North Korean missiles and is presumably not likely to be a target for American bombs.

But, going along with Emoov’s analysis, where would you buy a house to stay out of range of the missiles?



The only current Larkfleet development clear of the blasts on the Emoov map is Pinchbeck Fields near Spalding. Even our development at Bonnybank near Leven in Scotland would be affected by the anticipated missile strike on nearby Edinburgh and our developments near Taunton in the rural South West of England would be overwhelmed by the impact of a missile hitting Bristol.

So far, Emoov’s analysis has had no impact on house prices and we’ve not had a flood of enquiries in Pinchbeck from nervous citizens. But we could not resist bringing you this piece of poor-taste nonsense news. Does this make us as bad as Emoov (we rather fear that it might ….)?

If you do want to know more, Emoov appears to have removed the map from its own website in the face of a storm of criticism but you can still find the original on several news websites such as the Daily Mirror here.


11 Aug 2017

Lifetime Homes

It's good to plan ahead. You're fit and healthy now but life can throw up some unwelcome surprises.

Lifetime Homes are ordinary homes designed to incorporate 16 design criteria. Each feature adds to the comfort and convenience of the home and supports the changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life.

Lifetime housing is designed to the Lifetime Homes Standard making them suitable for most occupants, including some (but not all) wheelchair users and disabled visitors, without the need for substantial alterations.

From raising small children to coping with illness or dealing with reduced mobility in later life, Lifetime Homes make the ups and downs of daily living easier to manage.

A selection of Larkfleet Homes are built to the Lifetime Homes standard.

For more information visit www.lifetimehomes.org.uk.