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Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter. We hope that you enjoy this new way of keeping you informed about the exciting news here at Millwood Designer Homes.

It has been a busy first half of the year. We have seen a record number of sales, particularly as demand was driven from buyers trying to beat the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge which came into force on 1st April. Disappointingly, the Chancellor announced that he was extending this to investors with more than 15 properties in March’s Budget. However conversely, the Chancellor’s decision to reduce capital gains tax has no doubt encouraged more people to sell their second homes and buy-to-let properties, particularly in the top end of the market. Now we just have Brexit to worry about…

There was cause for celebration too, with the news that Crossrail 2 has been given the go-ahead. This is a significant boost for key areas that we build in, which will now become an even more commutable option. We have experienced how transformational High Speed 1 has been for East Kent and hope that the proposed extension of this into East Sussex is given the go ahead, as it will be a phenomenal change for the regeneration of key towns in the area.

Help to Buy continues to be a success

With Help to Buy, Help to Buy London, a Help to Buy ISA and a new Lifetime ISA outlined most recently, there has never been so many supportive measures for aspiring Generation Renters looking to save for a home. Latest figures from the government show over 150,000 people have bought their own home since the scheme was introduced in 2013, with 80 per cent of those first-time buyers.

Last year, we launched our first product that is suitable for first time buyers at Woodlands View in Hastings where the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme is available. Through this and other initiatives, we want to enable our customers to access a greater range of financial packages to buy their ideal home as we look to bring our reputation for providing high quality homes to a wider audience.

At Woodlands View, a four bedroom house, which is normally priced at £325,000 can be purchased from £260,000 with Help to Buy, with a deposit of as little as five per cent.

Our new corporate video

We are excited to reveal our new corporate video, which will give you an insight into our approach to creating homes that offer exceptional quality, beautiful design and an excellent finish. The corporate video is available to watch at: [insert window with play button linking to hosting]

Over 90% sold at The Vale

Our period-style development, The Vale, in the village of Southfleet near Gravesend, Kent, which features a distinctive converted oast house, continues to be an enormous success, with 90 per cent of the homes now reserved.

The progress of The Vale is being captured on film by a time lapse camera – watch the footage at: [insert link]

Millwood expands to offer homes to a wider audience

This year, we have two new developments that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. Recently launched off plan is Standgrove Field in Ardingly, situated in the heart of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Sussex; a stunning new development consisting of 36 traditionally designed homes, which will be launching in July. Meanwhile, Lavender Fields in Isfield, East Sussex, is a development of 39 homes including luxury apartments situated within a grand manor house, opulent farm and oast houses and a selection of smaller terraced cottages. After a successful launch, there have been a total of five reservations.

By widening our portfolio to include a broad range of individually designed homes from contemporary styled apartments to more traditional two and three storey homes to suit all levels of buyers, we hope a Millwood home will appeal to a far wider audience.

We have several other exciting new schemes in Maidstone, Ansty and Dorking in the pipeline this year, so make sure you look out for details.

Encouragement Pack Initiative

We take pride in the communities surrounding our projects by getting involved where we can to support the local areas. We have run an Encouragement Pack initiative with a number of schools in Kent and East Sussex, including Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar that we have supported for the last eight years. We awarded four gifted students with the Encouragement Prize for Creativity, the Achievement Award in Construction, the Geography A Level Prize and the Prize for Excellence in Science each year.

As we are coming up to that time of year again, here is a look at last year’s winners:

  • Alexander Galpin, 15, from Crowborough, who attends The Skinners’ School was awarded the coveted Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics) prize
  • Tommy Lutz, 16, from Westgate-on-Sea, who attended King Ethelbert School, was awarded the coveted Achievement Award in Construction
  • Micaela Sowerby, 19, from Leigh near Tonbridge, who attended Hillview School for Girls, was awarded the coveted Encouragement Prize for Creativity for the third year in a row
  • Lucy Rimmer, 19, from Tunbridge Wells, who attended Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar, was awarded the coveted cup for A Level Geography (she was the third Rimmer sister to win this title, following previous years success by her sisters Imogen and Isabel)

Our first residents The Vale

Our first residents moved into The Vale in the spring…a family of ducks. We are hoping that more wildlife will follow as the duck pond continues to flourish and the open fields that surround the development attract numerous birds, pheasants and other types of wildlife.

We hope that you enjoyed reading this. If so, do look out for our next newsletter later this summer. As always we are delighted to hear from you, so please do get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like to know more.

John Elliott

Managing Director