Interview with Carl Homerstone

WHAT IS URBAN ASSOCIATES’ CORE STRATEGY?

Urban regeneration is a pressing need in London and throughout the UK. Our strategy is to use our specialist knowledge and resources to fill the need and help provide high-quality housing and a commercial infrastructure that’s so badly needed. Our business model means we achieve both and at the same time generate significant ROI for our partners and investors.

IN WHICH PART OF THE MARKET DO YOU SPECIALISE?

When I started in the property business I soon began to specialise in urban redevelopment projects. As for the type of deals I prefer – I have a passion for both investment and trading projects. Both have a number of associated risks due to factors outside of one’s control, but the rewards are certainly there when you get it right. Currently, the trend is for trading projects which comprise 70% of our deals.

WHAT BENEFITs DO YOUR PARTNERS GET WORKING WITH URBAN ASSOCIATES?

Working with us, you benefit from our expertise in the steps required to be considered when working in a fiercely competitive London property market. We have experience of working with all the parties involved, from the investment development agents, architects, planning consultants, local authorities, solicitors, housing associations to private funds and other financial institutions.

WHAT IS URBAN ASSOCIATES TRACK RECORD?

Confidentiality is important to us and we would prefer to discuss specific deals in private. Recently, in November 2013, we acquired a large apartment in London SW6 for £738,000. We completed on the sale in February 2014 at £915,000 having only stripped out the building to shell condition. Over the past couple of years Urban Associates have successfully refurbished several domestic and commercial sites, created dozens of new homes and sold on a number of sites ready for further redevelopment. It’s an ongoing process and we’re always talking to existing partners to see what new business we can do together in the future.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF DAYS FROM THE SIGNATURE TO THE SALE?

Our average turnaround is about as quick as you’re likely to see in this sector! Two main reasons for that: we don’t take on more work than we can handle at any one time, and we really know the business inside out, which helps avoid red tape and hold-ups. We also use tried and trusted contractors and suppliers that we’ve worked with many times. Project turnaround depends on a variety of factors: a small-scale acquisition of refurbished premises for investment purposes might take as little as 4 weeks from start to finish, while a bigger trading project that involves redevelopment and refurbishment could take up to 3 years. The planning process is never simple!

WHO CAN CONTACT YOU AND WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT YOU?

I’m always interested in hearing from anyone with a serious interest in partnering with us or investing in one of our projects. Please use one of the various options on our contact page.