City Centre Penthouse Stands Out From The Crowd

Simpsons Fold penthouse May 2016

One of Leeds city centre’s largest penthouses is now for sale, which has just been refurbished to an exceptional standard and offers a stunning open plan living space in a highly sought after development.

The four bedroom, split level duplex apartment is located in Simpsons Fold on Dock Street and covers 2,200 square feet of living space, as well as benefitting from north and south facing terraces with superb views. It also has three bathrooms, utility room, feature staircase and two parking spaces.

The property, which is on the market for £699,000, is newly refurbished with a dark oak and quartz stone kitchen with hidden integrated appliances and marble flooring. The rest of the apartment offers a mix of dark hard wood and solid bamboo flooring throughout as well as floor to ceiling windows.

There are very few apartments in the North of England that are finished to this specification, with such a vast floor-space, and at this price, it offers great value for money. There is definitely nothing else available in the city at the moment of this size or standard.

The penthouse’s reconfiguration and refurbishment meets the highest specification, and boasts the latest fixtures, fittings and design features on the fifth and sixth floors of Simpsons Fold, which is an extremely popular development.

The scheme consists of 47 apartments in a Grade II listed warehouse conversion. It’s in a quiet part of Leeds, that’s largely residential and close to the River Aire, Brewery Wharf and The Tetley, but it’s still within a five minute walk of Briggate, which makes it a very popular place to live.

Leeds Church Buildings Get New Lease Of Life

St Peters Hall Leeds

The first of just three apartments in an exclusive development of historic buildings in the grounds of Leeds Minster have been released for sale as the first phase approaches completion.

St Peter’s House & Hall is a development of just 12 individual apartments, most of which will have a parking space, on The Calls in Leeds City Centre.

St Peter’s Hall is being sensitively converted into four apartments, one of which has already been privately sold. The two remaining one bedroomed apartments are priced at £140,000 and £160,000 respectively and the two bedroomed apartment is priced at £275,000.

This is a rare opportunity to live in a heritage building in a first class location. The Calls is one of Leeds’s most popular and well known residential streets, just ten minutes from the railway station, and with a host of quality restaurants, bars, shops and theatres on the doorstep.

All three apartments have a luxury specification with contemporary kitchens and bathrooms. Jonathan adds: “Due to the high vaulted ceilings, all of the apartments are split level with mezzanine floors. The double height arched windows, which bridge the ground and mezzanine levels, deliver a central feature focus for each apartment. They also provide plenty of natural light, and really set the tone for this high-quality, sensitively restored, beautiful red-bricked building.”

The second phase of development will see St Peter’s House, which sits alongside the Hall, converted into eight one bedroom apartments. Many of these apartments include lots of original features and no two apartments are alike. The north facing apartments enjoy stunning views of Leeds Minster, whilst those to the South side of the building overlook The Calls.

Work on St Peter’s Hall will complete this month and work on St Peter’s House is set to complete in the summer. It will be a while before another development like this comes along in such a great location and we envisage that there will be very strong demand.

Lakeisha Is Crypt Factor’s Champion of Champions

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This year Lakeisha King from Addleshaw Goddard was named as the champion of champions at the record breaking event which brought 750 of the region’s property industry together at Elland Road.  Nine acts, who had all won or finished as runners-up in previous years, competed for the coveted title.  This year’s event raised more than £80,000 for charities LionHeart and St George’s Crypt.

Lakeisha, a Real Estate Paralegal at Addleshaw Goddard, along with dancers Sean Meehan, who also works for the firm, and Alice Carr from Freeths Solicitors, stole the show with their performance of Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For A Hero.  The trio also won last year’s event.

In addition the event’s three founding sponsors, which includes Jonathan Morgan from Morgans City Living, Richard Lewis from Town Centre Securities Plc and Paula Dillon from Bond Dickinson, were recognised for their ten years on the organising committee.  They will now hand the event over to Bruntwood, Gent Visick and Pinsent Masons next year, which have all come on board as additional sponsors in recent years. The event is also supported by media partner The Yorkshire Post, Candid PR, Saville Audio Visual and Tiger Tiger’s Lucky Voice.

This was undoubtedly the best Crypt Factor yet, and after 10 fantastic years, raising huge amounts of money for two very deserving charities, the time is right to hand the event over to a new organising committee.  As this year’s show demonstrated, the Crypt Factor is in fine form and receives a superb level of support from Yorkshire’s property industry, so it’s ideally placed for the new sponsors to take it to the next level.

City Centre Residents Shop Until They Drop

Trinity Leeds

Leeds city centre’s booming retail offering is a major reason why so many people are flocking to live in the city according to new research carried out by Morgans.

We surveyed more than 100 of the city’s newest residents, who have rented apartments with us since the start of the year, and asked how big an attraction great shops were when they were deciding on where to live.

A total of 61% said Leeds city centre’s shops were an important factor when they rented a city apartment and 38% said they were prepared to pay a premium to live within a two minute walk of the city’s main retail areas.  In addition, 3% admitted that it would be unbearable not to have the city’s shops on their doorstep.

This research comes on the back of a string of accolades for Leeds’ retail sector in recent years, including the city being named as the best shopping destination in the UK by the Rough Guide to Britain.   The opening of Trinity in 2013 helped the city climb to third place in a league table of top retail destinations and later this year, Leeds will also become home to the largest John Lewis store outside London, when Victoria Gate opens in autumn. This will put Leeds in second place in the national retail rankings, behind London.

Leeds has hundreds of fantastic shops within easy walking distance of each other, ranging from the Victoria Quarter’s luxury brands through to Europe’s largest indoor market and everything in between.  The opening of Trinity Leeds really helped to put Leeds on the map in terms of its retail offering and when Victoria Gate opens it will elevate the city to another level again.

Residential development in Leeds is trailing behind the pace set by the retail sector.  We manage Leeds city centre’s largest rentals portfolio and our occupancy levels currently stand at over 99.5% as tenant demand continually outstrips supply, so there is a real shortage of residential stock available at the moment.

However, work is starting this year on a number of new apartment developments, which will mostly be ready to move into during 2017, by which time Victoria Gate will be helping to draw even more potential residents into the city centre.

Singers Unveiled For Tenth Crypt Factor

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The eagerly anticipated line-up has been announced for the tenth Crypt Factor, which will see many of the biggest stars from the last decade returning to the stage and competing to be named as the singing competition’s champion of champions.

The show takes place at Elland Road on Thursday 10th March 2016 and will bring Yorkshire’s property industry together to raise money for LionHeart and St George’s Crypt.  The event has raised more than £420,000 for the two charities over the last nine years, and Morgans is a headline sponsor alongside Bond Dickinson, Bruntwood, Gent Visick, Pinsent Masons and Town Centre Securities Plc.

This year’s singers include last year’s winner Lakeisha King from Addleshaw Goddard, Dawn Allen from Pinsent Masons, Tom Cullen from Colliers, Joe Haigh from Bond Dickinson and Dan Hodge from Ryden.  In addition there will be duets by Andrew Thurman and Tracy Heywood from Fuse Studios, Emma Eastwood and Hannah Nota from Morgans City Living as well as Craig Burrow from Bruntwood performing with Rupert Visick from Gent Visick.  Tom Gilman from Kier, Richard Irving from ID Planning, James Espley from Santander and Shayne Niemen from Niemen Architects will also perform as a group.

This will be our best line-up of singers in our 10 year history.  They are all genuinely talented and have won or finished as finalists in previous years, so it promises to be a great evening and there’s no doubt it will raise a huge amount of money for two very deserving charities.

There has been huge demand for tables and we already have an audience of over 700 people, who predominantly work in Yorkshire’s property industry. There are only a couple of tables still available, so any companies that still haven’t booked need to act fast if they are to secure a place!

Tables On Sale For Tenth Crypt Factor


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Tables are selling fast for the tenth Crypt Factor, which will see some of the biggest stars that have appeared in the annual singing competition from over the last decade, compete to be named this year’s champion of champions!

Every year Crypt Factor brings the region’s property industry together to raise money for LionHeart and St George’s Crypt and it has raised more than £420,000 for the two charities over the last nine years, making it Leeds’ most successful charity event.

Crypt Factor 2016 will be held at Elland Road on Thursday 10th March 2016.  Headline sponsors include Morgans along with Bond Dickinson, Bruntwood, Gent Visick, Pinsent Masons, Town Centre Securities Plc and The Yorkshire Post is the event’s media partner.

When we organised the first Crypt Factor 10 years ago, we could never have imagined how it would grow year on year to become one of the North of England’s biggest and most successful charity events.  The level of support we receive from the region’s property industry is always superb and this year promises to be our best show ever.  As a result, tables are already selling fast and we would urge any companies that haven’t yet booked to act now to avoid disappointment.

For the Crypt Factor’s tenth anniversary, we have a very special show planned that will see some of the property industry’s best singers, who either won or were finalists in previous years, returning to the stage.  All this year’s acts will be unveiled over the coming weeks and each and every one of them has what it takes to make this the biggest event in our 10 year history.

St George’s Crypt is based within the thriving church of St George’s in Leeds and has been at the frontline of support for homeless, disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Leeds and its surrounding areas since 1930.  LionHeart offers all types of help and support to RICS members and their families who face problems in their lives that are often completely unexpected together with the stresses and strains of everyday life.  These can include depression, disability, unemployment, family separation and debt related issues.

The remaining tables of 10 are priced at £1250 + VAT and can be reserved by calling 0113 2615713. Further information is available via Twitter @cryptfactor.

Floods Won’t Dampen Spirits At Morgans

 

Dock Street front viewWe are now ready to embark on a major refurbishment programme at our Dock Street office after the property’s lower ground floor was submerged in more than five feet of water.

After heavy rainfall trounced the North of England over Boxing Day and the River Aire burst its banks, remediation specialists worked through the night to remove more than 40 tonnes of water from the building meaning the office could reopen on Monday 28th December.

The basement area of the building, which is located directly next to the River Aire, houses the office’s kitchen, staff bar, lounge, toilets, shower rooms, stationery stores, archive, air conditioning plant and communications room, which were all destroyed.

Thankfully Leeds City Centre is home to very few basement and ground floor apartments so it’s reassuring that only 12 of 11,000 apartments in the city suffered flood damage as a result of this unprecedented event.  Unfortunately, our office wasn’t so lucky and is one of many buildings that fell victim to the river bursting its banks.

However, we’re fortunate to have received lots of support and our team have been amazing with many of them involved in the clean-up.  Our operations manager Jacqui Pringle did a sterling job in getting Morgans back on track and reopened within hours of the floods hitting.  We’ve also had visits from Tom Riordan and Judith Blake from Leeds City Council, MP Hilary Benn and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark.

We’ll now finish the clean-up before completely refurbishing the entire floor and installing a new and improved staff breakout area and facilities.

Top five ‘unusual’ tenant requests of 2015

As letting agents, we rent properties to people from all walks of life and with varying degrees of common sense. We believe in Householder Responsibility during a tenancy, which might surprise a few of our tenants – the basic principle is that whether someone owns or rents a property, there is a duty of care to make basic repairs and renewals.

We’ve looked back at the top five surprising calls our maintenance team received in 2015 – they raised a few chuckles in the office so we thought we’d share here:

  1. A young lady called to say that the Hoover in her apartment wasn’t working. We asked her if she had changed the bag. Her reply? ‘What’s the bag?’
  1. A young man called from his apartment to report a leak from under the washing machine which was flooding his kitchen. He knew it was the washing machine because it only happened when it was in a cycle. He was sorry he hadn’t reported it 3 days ago when it first started flooding his kitchen but he had ‘been busy.’
  1. A young lady rang from the terraced house she rented from us to say that water was ‘pouring through the glass’ of her bedroom window.
  1. A man called from the apartment he rented from us to say that ‘the door handle had come off in his hand’. We asked him if he had a screwdriver, with which he could re-affix it. He replied ‘I have never owned a screwdriver and nor do I wish to’.
  1. A couple called into the office to say that they couldn’t shut the freezer box door in their fridge and please could we fix it. Our handyman visited the flat and discovered a year’s worth of ice and frozen peas. When questioned, the tenants said that they thought lots of ice was what kept the peas frozen.

 

EXCITING YEAR AHEAD FOR LEEDS CITY CENTRE’S PROPERTY MARKET

2016 could mark a major turning point for the city centre’s residential property market, which has been starved of development in recent years, as work starts on a number of high profile new schemes across Leeds.

As managers of Leeds city centre’s largest apartment portfolio, with occupancy figures currently at over 99 per cent as tenant demand continually outstrips supply, we’re making our predictions for the property market in Leeds for 2016.

City centre rental stock still short

Leeds city centre is desperately short of rental stock, largely because the city centre market has been starved of new-build activity since 2008. Back then, around 400 apartments were being built each year, but recently supply has been at record low levels and we’ve had a couple of years where no new apartments were built at all.

However, the city’s economy and population have continued growing and as a result the market has been operating close to full occupancy in recent years with very little genuine choice available for people looking to rent in the city centre. Although this is good news for landlords, it is inevitably driving some frustrated renters into other areas.

Pent-up demand from buyers

The sales market is also performing well. The number of apartment resales doubled in 2015, over the previous year, and this growth will continue into 2016 because there’s a lot of pent-up demand from buyers. We are selling high quality properties, in core city centre locations, for the same prices that we achieved at the peak of the pre-recession market, with interest coming from both investors and owner-occupiers.

Moving back towards sustainable supply

The good news is that in 2016, supply will start returning to sustainable historic levels, as work starts on several new schemes, although it’s likely to be early 2017 before many of these are ready to move into. It’s also significant that most of these developments are likely to be of a very high standard, driven by architects and developers who have considerable experience in other markets and areas.

In Holbeck alone the £80m transformation of Tower Works will provide over 150 apartments and townhouses and the Iron Works will see 58 apartments built along with 15 townhouses. Planning was also recently approved for 77 new homes on The Calls and Hunslet Riverside will start to see real change when CITU starts work building more than 300 passive homes.

Competing with York and Harrogate

Prices in Leeds city centre have historically underperformed against those being achieved in the centres of York and Harrogate, but we believe that the quality of these new Leeds developments will command a premium and that Leeds as the regional capital, can and will compete with these locations.

 

Painting A Positive Picture For Leeds Charity

 

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It makes me extremely proud that Morgans has been a key supporter of St George’s Crypt in Leeds for well over a decade and our team has just taken this to the next level by spending a weekend refurbishing the charity’s Armley shop, as well as raising money through a supermarket bag packing event.

St George’s Crypt is based in Leeds city centre and has been on the frontline of support for homeless, disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the city and its surrounding areas since 1930.

As a successful Leeds based business, we’re in a great position to be able to lend our support to people who could benefit from a leg-up and some help and after more than 10 years, it’s great that we can still come up with new and creative ways to support St George’s Crypt.

Our teams from Morgans’ offices on Dock Street in Leeds City Centre and Otley Road in Headingley, have transformed the charity’s shop and café, which is located on Town Street in Armley, by completely decorating it, fitting new carpets and making a range of other interior improvements.

In addition, members of our 40-strong team then spent a Saturday bag-packing at Morrisons supermarket in Guiseley, where they raised almost £900 for the charity.

It was incredibly heartening to see so many of our team give up their own time and get involved with such a worthwhile cause. Everyone really enjoyed it and at the end of the weekend, it was hugely rewarding to stand back and see how by working as a team, our hard work could make such a positive difference so quickly.

This summer I was also invited to join forces with St George’s Crypt to launch a new property development company with a board of directors consisting of some of the city’s leading property and construction experts.  St George’s Crypt Development Company will now provide homes and community facilities for homeless and disadvantaged people throughout Leeds and we’re looking forward to unveiling our first schemes imminently, so watch this space.