The value of design in property development is more than just the architecture of the building or the interiors. It’s in the branding of the project as a whole. A unique and prestigious identity will make a difference. It will attract a higher lever buyer, directly translating to more premium prices and a genuine difference in values achieved.
Outperforming the market
The figures plainly tell the story. Knight Frank’s ‘branded developments’ report states that ‘Branded residences command an average uplift of 31% compared to equivalent non-branded schemes… It (Branding residences) created an aspirational model and a reflection of luxury and prestige… and design is a critical part of the creation of a brand. ‘ Simply put, branded developments outperform non-branded developments.
The exterior and interior of 77 Mayfair from Luxlo
John Hitchcox, Chairman at Yoo, one of the pioneers of branded developments makes this point further in asserting that branding ‘lends credibility, endorsement and identification in that the buyer is identifying with a certain lifestyle and taste…as with the luxury goods market. What we’re doing is creating intellectual property” It’s a shorthand way to identify and give status to the owner to be able to state that they live in a particular building or development over and above a street address.
Simply put, branded developments outperform non-branded developments.
Given that interest in property as an investment is still growing, with the 2014 Knight Frank wealth report revealing that ‘residential property is the most popular sector to invest in, with 81% of wealth advisors saying their clients were becoming more interested in it.’ Ensuring the right naming and branding will be a vital part of attracting investment. UHNWI’s seek to invest not just in property, but in the right property. The right branding is a fundamental part of their decision making.
This is a global trend in both established and new markets. A recent FT article on luxury branded residences argued that ‘branded developments not only form the first step in “place making” in nascent markets, but can help buyers to perceive a well established location, in a fresh way. …Differentiation is the key. Developers across the globe are hiring creative agencies, illustrators and designers for their unique approach and ability to set a scheme apart and attract the right sort of buyer and investor. Whether a single building, or a collection of properties that are separate but part of a linked development, it extends from the residence naming and branding, into the sales and marketing materials including website, through signage, and frequently into details like the creation of house patterns and fabrics for use through communal areas such as receptions and entrance hallways.
Setting a development apart and attracting the right buyers is key to maximum profitability
The brand difference
As with any trend, the value is often seen in its reach and longevity, when it spreads from the niche and high-end sectors into the wider market, and this is something that is already starting to happen. New developments across London are being named and branded as a matter of course. Just as branding a development currently adds value and delivers a higher price, neglecting to do so will soon be a major disadvantage. This is where creativity and premium design really demonstrate their value. Setting a development apart and attracting the right buyers is key to maximum profitability. It is design that has a crucial role in delivering it.