Anne Currell, Group CEO has written an open letter to Property Week about why equality and diversity in the Currell workplace are so important and why every company should make them key to company policy.

Group CEO, Anne Currell

Group CEO, Anne Currell

“Equality and diversity should not just be a boardroom target”

It is incredibly important to me that every member of staff feels at ease and that there is a friendly, welcoming culture within the organisation, particularly for the LGBT community.

Earlier this year we joined the Stonewell Diversity Champion Programme, to increase our commitment to the LGBT community. The programme gives us the opportunity to work with and learn from Stonewall, to ensure that our company is the best workplace it can possibly be, for everyone.

The Diversity Charter led by Property Week and the RICS Inclusive Employer Quality Mark are exciting ventures within the industry that show a statement of intent.

However, organisations pursuing the chance to become involved with these need to be aware of the commitment that comes with the territory.

Equality and diversity should not just be a target in the boardroom, but become an integral part of an organisation’s day-to-day operations.

Anne Currell, Group CEO, Currell

To link to the original article please click here

Property has become a key issue in the upcoming election with heated discussions over housing shortages and affordability. Plus, there is the possible mansion tax and the impact this may have on the higher end of the market.

With just weeks to go before we head to the polls, we ask Anne Currell for her opinion on what the election could mean for the London property market.

Group CEO, Anne Currell

Group CEO, Anne Currell

Have you noticed changes in market activity in the run up to the election?

In the run up to the election we have sensed a degree of uncertainty across all price brackets but more noticeably towards the upper end of the market. How much of this is down to general market conditions or pre-election jitters is hard to ascertain. What has been shown in previous years is that pre-election jitters do not equate to a fall in prices. In fact, we are predicting a solid 5% uplift in central London in 2015.

Are there any specific policies which you think would dramatically affect the market in the months after the election?

The big topic of discussion is a mansion tax, which has been proposed by both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats. If passed, the tax would apply to properties worth more than £2m. About 80 to 90% of the properties that would be affected are in Greater London and the Labour Party believes it would raise up to £1.2bn in revenue. The concern in London is that it may put off foreign investors. London is a magnet for foreign investment in residential property due to its transactional transparency and its reputation for stability.

The threat of a mansion tax could send the message that investment is not welcome and lead to unpredictability. Equally, owners who have ‘accidentally’ become property millionaires due to high rises in property values would be targeted. If the mansion tax is imposed, we could see an influx of properties at this price point coming onto the market, as owners look to move to property that sits below the £2m threshold.

The Conservative’s main focus is on extending Help to Buy, a scheme designed to help buyers who can’t put forward more than a 5% deposit on a property. So far the scheme has been successful in helping 80,000 buyers onto the property ladder. However, only 6% of these buyers were in London. What is great though is that of the 80,000, 80% are first time buyers.

Housing is a key policy for London and will be an important policy for voters. What are the key issues surrounding London and housing?

The big issue in London is supply versus demand as the city is growing at the fastest rate in its history. The target of building 42,000 new homes this year is questionable, particularly when a key component of the new homes must be affordability. This means delivering on Shared Ownership and Intermediate Rent opportunities. Investment is needed in planning and London needs to develop in a way that opens up spaces and coordinates housing and transport. To get it right, the London Mayor for 2016 needs to set out their housing manifesto on day one.

Do you have any advice for people looking to buy or sell in the next few months?

Statistics show that traditionally in the run up to an election there is a ‘stand-off’ period and a ‘flurry’ afterwards. This relates only to activity levels however and does not impact on prices. My advice would be that if you are thinking of selling, forget the 7 May and go to market now. There may be less stock on and your property could do well in a less contested market.

If you are looking to buy then don’t worry, unless you have over £2m to spend. Think about where you are buying, and consider developments such as Crossrail and Crossrail 2. These will have a huge impact on infrastructure in certain areas, particularly east London, and buying in these areas is a smart move.

If you would like to discuss the market or your property needs with a member of our team, please contact one of our residential offices who will be happy to help. All our office contact details can be found here

Currell is excited to announce the launch of The Linen Draper, a lifestyle newspaper celebrating the unique culture of north and east London.

For the launch issue, we celebrate London’s rich cockney culture, in honour of our name ‘The Linen Draper’. The beautiful front cover artwork, illustrates one of the most famous rhyming slang phrases ‘Apples n’ Pears’. We also meet the Pearly King of Finsbury to find out more about how this cockney heritage is being kept alive and well in the capital today.

Also featuring in the debut issue are interviews with local business owners from Broadway Market and Netil Market, discussing why Hackney drives their passion. We also get an exclusive BBQ recipe from the Head Chef at top Shoreditch restaurant, Boundary.

A sneak peek of the Property & Interiors pages in first issue of The Linen Draper

A sneak peek of the Property & Interiors pages in the first issue of The Linen Draper

If this isn’t enough, the newspaper also features local events, theatre, food and drink, fitness and the arts, as well as our specialist subject, London property.

To read the first issue of The Linen Draper please click here or pop into one of our residential offices to pick up a copy.

The next issue of The Linen Draper will be published in September. If you are interested in advertising or featuring in the September issue of The Linen Draper, or have any feedback on our current issue, please get in touch with Gina at thelinendraper@currell.com

 

Director and Head of New Homes Adrian Plant, headed to Taiwan in early December, with Eve Chen one of our International sales negotiators.

The trip was an opportunity for Currell to showcase some of the amazing London property developments we are selling, as well as deliver a number of informative seminars on the market and how to invest in the UK to a Taiwanese audience.

Eve Chen takes to the stage

Eve Chen takes to the stage

Eve remains in Taiwan over the festive period and is meeting clients to discuss their property investment requirements and help them to understand the UK market.

With Eve's help, Adrian introduces Currell to Taiwanese investors

With Eve’s help, Adrian introduces Currell to Taiwanese investors

The trip has so far proved a great success, with Croydon proving a popular choice for Taiwanese property investors looking for rental returns.

We wish Eve every success with the remainder of her trip.

We are delighted to announce that Chris Beckwith has joined Currell as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Chris will head up the Residential Department and help the company with the next stage of growth.  Chris joins us with over 17 years in the industry and was a Director of one of Londons largest independent estate agents for over 14 years. Chris will be responsible for planning the strategic direction of the business expansion, largely through acquisitions.

Chris said: “I am excited to join Currell at a time when the business is expanding as my experience is in growing businesses.  I look forward to playing a part in the company’s continued growth and success.”

Anne Currell, Group CEO of Currell said: “This is a very exciting time for Currell. We are very encouraged by Chris’s appointment and look forward to working with him as we deliver our strategy for long term growth.”

Currell staff hit the slopes in sunny Courchevel this week for a few days of fresh mountain air.

15 staff signed up to the annual trip this year, all looking forward to starting the new year in the snowy Alps.

The trip was blessed with good weather and the group enjoyed a fantastic lunch in the sun at Le Panoramic restaurant, which stands at 2732m and faces Mont-Blanc.

And thankfully they all managed to ski down safely afterwards!

This year’s Christmas party was a black tie affair held at Fence Bar in Clerkenwell, to accomodate our growing numbers. A champagne reception, turkey dinner and secret santa set the festive mood, before the annual Currell staff awards were handed out by Anne and Chris Currell.

The awards are given to members of staff who have performed consistently or outstandingly throughout the year.

Our deserving winners this year include:

Simon Karajian – Employee of the Year

Jon Vidal – Employee of the Year Runner Up

Islington Office – Most Outstanding Office

Jon Vidal – Client Feedback Award

Ben Hobart – Highest Residential Sales

Tracey Cutts – Residential Management

James Neilson – Directors Award for Outstanding Performance

Anna Jencova – Administrator of the Year

Ritz Fitzgerald – Block Management

Terry Brown – Block Management

Lucy Currell – Highest New Homes Sales

Andy Lawson, Ben Hobart, Mark O’Kane, Guarav Sekhri, Tom Leatham & Sam Turley – Best Project Proposal

After the awards, the night continued with dancing into the small hours and ended almost certainly with a few sore heads the next morning.

Huge thanks go to Asima Hafesji and Diane Bridle for organising such a fabulous party for our ever growing company to enjoy.

Well done to all the winners and thank you to everyone at Currell for making 2013 another successful year.

Our recently launched Affordable Homes department has received its first instruction from Gallions Housing Association on Parkside View, a shared ownership development in the Royal Docks.

Parkside View is a riverside development that forms part of the wider regeneration of the Royal Docks area, Europe’s largest regeneration project with the potential for £22bn worth of investment.

Martin Fillery, Head of Currell Affordable Homes said: “I am very excited that our first instruction has come from a regeneration project of this scale that will totally transform this area of London.

“Gallions Housing Association understands the importance of providing high quality housing for local people and they work closely with the local community to ensure that they will benefit from projects in their area.

“With house prices continually increasing, it is vital that affordable housing is provided for workers in the city on lower incomes. Parkside View gives regular Londoners the chance to purchase a home that is well connected to central London and most importantly, affordable.”

The final phase of 1 bedroom apartments at Parkside View, E16 are launching 5th, 6th and 7th December. To register your interest please email: affordablehomes@currell.com or phone Martin Fillery on 0207 226 6611.

To learn more about Currell Affordable Homes please visit our website: http://www.currell.com/new-homes/currell-affordable-homes

Last night our new Affordable Homes department officially launched at the Charlotte Street Hotel in Soho, with 70 guests in attendance.

Mike Youkee, a board member of the Greater London Authority, was our key note speaker for the night. He delivered a fascinating speech on the challenges facing housing associations in London, with particular emphasis on affordable housing provision.

He also discussed the idea of a limit being put in place on the amount of London homes sold overseas to ease the housing shortage, as well as sharing his opinion about the Mayor’s delivery of affordable homes for the capital.

The night was a huge success and we would like to thank all of our guests and Mike Youkee for attending, as well as the Charlotte Street Hotel for providing delicious refreshments and a great venue.

Affordable Homes Launch

If you would like to find out more about Currell Affordable Homes please contact Martin Fillery on 0207 226 6611 or visit our website http://www.currell.com/new-homes/currell-affordable-homes