Tag Archives: fees

JDP has ‘Grand Designs’ on growth after record-breaking year

Ambitious residential designs, healthcare projects, community buildings and a Grand Design that featured on a TV show hosted by Tinie Tempah have helped a Bridgnorth architects practice post its best-ever year.

Johnson Design Partnership (JDP) has seen appointments rise significantly by 30% over the last twelve months and currently has more than 130 live contracts under management as clients explore inventive design and a more personal service.

Architects at the Station Lane firm have also identified its ability to deliver complex work that peers often turn away and its recent Paragraph 70 approval that was granted without the need for appeal – one of the first in the UK to get through.

JDP, which has also been behind the redevelopment of Bishop Percy’s House in Bridgnorth, has taken on three new staff to cope with demand, including an experienced architect and two senior technicians who bring with them significant expertise in key markets.

Vic Johnson, Founder of Johnson Design Partnership, commented: “We’ve always tried to be different to your large, city centre practices, preferring to listen to what the client wants rather than forcing the latest design trend on them.

“This has really paid off, whether it is working for a couple who are transforming their property, a refurbishment of a school or creating a new multi-use space at one of the UK’s largest hospitals. It’s about understanding their brief and using our design skills and knowledge of new materials and technology to create something that excites and is fit for purpose.”

He went on to add: “Covid-19 was really busy as I think a lot of people focused on making improvements to their home, mainly because they spent so much time in them. Then, as soon as lockdown eased, a lot of stalled projects came back online with a vengeance. At the last look, we’re managing 130 jobs.”

Johnson Design Partnership hit the headlines last year when it was chosen by production company Avalon to be featured in its Extraordinary Extensions series on Channel 4.

The programme, which was hosted by rapper Tinie Tempah, charted the progress of Evenhay Farm near Ludlow, a stunning £250,000 ‘angular’ conversion of a three-bed Grade II listed cottage and barn, featuring a new glass fronted annexe and glazed walkway.

Alan Harris and Lynda Hall decided to move back to the area from Nottingham and had the vision to work with Alan Harris senior to turn the family home into a place which they could all live in and enjoy the stunning views.

They turned to JDP for expert advice on initial designs, feasibility studies and securing planning, with the architect working with Hayward Construction to turn the dream into a reality.

Matt Spinks, Director, went on to add: “Our Grand Designs and work with the Paragraph 70 house was already provoking a lot of conversation, but the Channel 4 show really catapulted us into the limelight.

“It was arguably the most successful project featured on the programme and proved how you can use new design techniques and materials to open a truly stunning location with unique views. The phone and inbox haven’t stopped since and we’re looking to make the next twelve months even more successful.”

Johnson Design Partnership, which now employs nine people at its Bridgnorth office, offers a complete project management service from feasibility work and planning to detailed design, project monitoring and contract administration.

It has recently invested in the latest 3D design software and management systems, as well as embarking on a social media campaign to showcase its vast array of successful projects.


Three in five house sellers stung by unexpectedly large estate agency fees

The majority of UK homeowners are unprepared for the large estate agency fees when selling a house, a new study has revealed.

The research[1], conducted by free online estate agent, Strike, surveyed 1,000 people who have sold a house in the last decade and found that nearly three in five (58%) sellers had to pay more than they’d expected. Over a third (34%) were charged significantly higher fees than they had budgeted for.

These figures are higher for those who have sold their homes recently, with 62% hit by unexpected charges in 2019, compared to just 48% in 2010. This trend correlates with an increase in prices over the same period, with fees having risen by 42% from £3,035 in 2010 to £4,319 last year.

With average house asking prices reaching record highs this year[2], these figures will continue to grow, as most agency fees are calculated by taking a percentage of the property’s value.

Over the last decade, the average price paid by UK sellers to estate agents is £4,779, but many pay far more. More than one in ten (11%) Brits pay over £10,000 to move.

Interestingly, millennials pay far higher estate agency fees than other age groups. On average, 25-34 year olds are charged £6,421 when selling, with nearly a fifth (19%) paying over £10,000. This is more than double the amount paid by other generations, with 55-64s spending just £2,836.

Gender is another factor, with men paying 19% more than women. Male sellers pay an average of £5,226 to sell their home – £820 more than women (£4,406).

The most important variable, however, is location, with sellers in London paying by far the largest fees in the UK. With an average of £6,573, estate agencies in the English capital charge more than twice as much as those in other major cities, such as Cardiff (£3,255), Manchester (£3,265) and Glasgow (£3,273).

The cities with the largest estate agency fees are:

London – £6,573
Birmingham – £5,622
Southampton – £5,481
Bristol – £5,316
Belfast – £4,667
Norwich – £4,338
Liverpool – £4,221
Edinburgh – £3,690
Sheffield – £3,405
Glasgow – £3,273
Manchester – £3,265
Cardiff – £3,255
Newcastle – £3,167
Leeds – £3,000
Nottingham – £2,854

Despite such high fees, more than two in five (44%) UK sellers were unhappy with the service provided by their estate agents. Dissatisfaction was greatest in Belfast, where 58% said they were unimpressed. Homeowners in the Northern Irish capital were also the most likely to pay more than they expected (83%), suggesting a strong link between fees and overall selling experience.

Sam Mitchell, CEO at Strike, said: “Estate agent fees are often the most significant expense when moving house, especially with the current stamp duty relief, and it’s really interesting to see which factors affect how much people pay.

“At Strike, we help people sell their homes for free, which saves them thousands of pounds, no matter where they live. With no estate agency fees, you have more money to spend on the things that really matter, like your new home.”

For expert advice on how to save money when selling your home, visit: https://strike.co.uk/latest-news/how-much-does-uk-waste-estate-agent-fees