Dominic Grace of Savills has been named ‘Personality of the Year’ at the RESI Awards 2016.
Savills’ head of London residential development collected the award, sponsored by Chestertons, at last night’s event held at Grosvenor House.
Other big winners on the night included Knight Frank, which won residential investment agency and international sales agency of the year, and Ballymore Group, winner of large developer of the year.
LUXLO’s 77 Mayfair won development of the year while Meyer Bergman’s Project Soya was named deal of the year.
Audley Retirement won the inaugural retirement living operator gong, sponsored by Savills.
To relive highlights from the evening check out #resiawards on Twitter.
The full list of RESI Awards 2016 winners:
Personality of the Year
Dominic Grace (Savills, head of London residential)
Described by the judges as “the go-to man for London residential”, Dominic Grace can boast many of London’s most illustrious developers as clients. Having joined Savills in 1984, he was involved in its first major new-build project at Chelsea Harbour on behalf of P&O Properties and has since worked on schemes including Chelsea Barracks, Greenwich Peninsula and One Hyde Park.
“I am truly humbled by the accolade, particularly given the many titans of the residential business who have won it in previous years,” said Grace. “I am also delighted for all my gifted colleagues at Savills, as well as the wider agent/consultant community, that our roles can be recognised along with our developer clients.”
Residential Investment Agency of the Year
Described by the judges as “forward thinking and visionary”, Knight Frank’s residential investment team grew revenues by 37% year on year to £9.7m in 2015 as it exchanged on assets worth a combined £2.5bn. The team’s landmark deals included a £200m forward-funding deal at Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar’s Shell Centre redevelopment; and the sale of the ground rent at One Hyde Park. Meanwhile, its specialist private rented sector and student valuations team, which garnered a special mention from the judges, has advised more than 150 clients on assets with a gross development value of £15bn, including a 1,500-unit central London building of £900m and a 2,300-unit regional portfolio for £250m.
Development of the Year
LUXLO - 77 Mayfair
Mayfair-based Luxlo started work on its development of seven apartments at 77 Mayfair in London’s West End in 2011. Last year, the scheme made headlines when its penthouse sold for £7,000/sq ft - the highest price per square foot achieved in the area. The 1960s office 77 South Audley Street was a post-war eyesore that had blighted the street until Luxlo started work on it, and the developer has now sold six of the seven highly specified luxury apartments for a total of more than £100m. Due to complete this summer, the scheme achieved “excellent sales prices” and provided the “right product for the target market”. One added: “Others said they couldn’t do it, but they turned an ugly duckling into a swan.”
Deal of the year
Meyer Bergman - Project Soya
Meyer Bergman completed one of the largest residential development deals of 2015, paying £250m for a portfolio of sites from Tesco in a deal with Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund. The pair bought 13 sites in London and the South East, advised by Savills. In addition to finalising the deal, Meyer Bergman set up resi development arm Meyer Homes to redevelop the sites, which include a 1,000-unit redevelopment of a brownfield site in Tolworth, a 700-unit resi-led mixed-use scheme in Woolwich and a 300-unit development on Cromwell Road in Kensington.
The judges described the off-market deal as “creative, complex, bold and highly competitive”.
(Highly commended: Eco World & Ballymore JV - Project Ace)
UK Sales Agency of the Year
Strutt & Parker
Strutt & Parker bolstered its residential team last year with the acquisition of Buckinghamshire firm Roberts Newby in July and Berkshire and Surrey agency Edwards & Elliott in October. Praised for “growth across all areas of the business”, it now boasts 55 offices and is eyeing further growth in the home counties.
The team’s achievements speak for themselves. It worked on 3,250 residential transactions in 2015 including the sales of a £40m penthouse in Kensington; England’s most valuable estate for £30m; and the UK’s only desert, the Dungeness Estate in Kent, to EDF for more than £3m. It also has a pipeline of £6bn in new-build sales and moved into lettings in May to support its buyers.
Asset Manager of the Year
Bruce Ritchie’s Residential Land is the biggest provider of privately owned rented property in prime central London. In 2015, the company cemented its status as a top player in the UK’s private rented sector by transforming key relationships with two of the world’s largest fund managers. The firm took over responsibility for asset management from Apollo Global on its £1.4bn joint venture with Canadian fund management giant Ivanhoe Cambridge.
Residential Land also completed several stand-out deals, including the £100m purchase of 39 Hill Street in Mayfair to rejuvenate the building, and the buyout of 122 flats in Hamlet Gardens in Ravenscourt Park from Swedish fund manager Akelius. The judges praised the company’s “excellent track record”, “strong deployment of capital in new deals” and “bold investments”.
International Sales Agency of the Year
Seventy-eight nationalities bought UK properties totalling £2.4bn through Knight Frank last year, and the firm grew its global reach to 417 offices employing 13,600 professionals in 58 nations on six continents. “The strength of the growth of the business at a time when others were declining or stagnating made Knight Frank the stand-out winner,” the judges said.
The team’s exceptional effort was on Ballymore and EcoWorld’s 624-apartment Wardian London, which launched in September and where Knight Frank sold 78 units totalling more than £50m to overseas buyers. Last year, the firm also created a dedicated team in the Middle East and North Africa region to facilitate new-build sales in London to investors in countries including Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Landlord of the Year - Registered Social
Home Group has 55,000 homes accommodating 120,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales, with annual turnover of £327m and assets valued at £2.8bn. Praised for its “scale and diversity while maintaining a strong tenant focus”, it is set to grow its portfolio by a further 3,500 homes, of which 1,300 are affordable, after completing eight joint venture deals in 2015. These include: a partnership with Keepmoat and Strata to build 4,000 homes in Hull; a tie-up with Countryside Properties to deliver 500 homes in South Oxhey in Hertfordshire; and a 400-home project with Galliford Try in Shinfield, Reading. In total, these eight joint ventures have a gross development value of £650m.
(Highly commended: A2Dominion)
Landlord of the Year - Privately owned
Get Living London
Delancey and Qatari Diar set up residential owner and manager Get Living London in 2013. Its biggest project is the redevelopment of the Athletes’ Village site from the London Olympics. It manages 1,500 private rental homes in East Village through an on-site office and is seeking to foster a sense of community with regular residents’ drinks evenings and events.
During 2015, Get Living attracted more than 9,000 people to five major events on the site, including: a tapas, beer and cider festival; an outdoor film festival; and a Christmas market. “They’re leading the way in terms of scale and quality of service in the UK’s biggest PRS development,” commented the judges.
Letting Agency of the Year
For the first time, the lettings division at Chestertons recorded higher sales and profits than its sales division in 2015, as 25 of its 34 lettings departments recorded their best-ever years. In its core central London region of Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Mayfair, the firm hit revenues of £3m, while it exceeded £5m in the north of England. Chestertons also responded to the increased scrutiny of private landlords by growing its compliance department to help it protect its landlord clients; and launched a key clients department dedicated to its largest clients, including Grosvenor and Motcomb.
The judges said: “The lettings division at Chestertons set themselves apart with their increased turnover and profitability, as well as the strength of their support to landlords on changes in compliance legislation.”
Property Manager of the Year
Savills Prime Estates’ submission was hailed by the judges as the “most comprehensive and impressive entry”. The 35-strong property management team acts for businesses including The Crown Estate, The Phillimore Estate, Resolution Property, Tesco and The Wellcome Trust. In 2015, it added the likes of Dorringon, Grosvenor and LaSalle to its roster and grew its properties under management to more than 5,500, up 17% annually.
Its highlights included: the bolstering of its UK-wide build-to-rent service with wins such as the appointment by LaSalle to manage its £500m private rented portfolio; and being named sole provider of private rented services to M&G Real Estate at schemes including Bath Riverside, Leeds Waterside and Brewery Square in Dorchester.
Residential Financier of the Year
Founded in 2013, Cain Hoy has established itself as one of the industry’s most active financiers, and last year grew its total committed capital to more than £1.3bn. Led by Jonathan Goldstein, the firm’s biggest deals last year included funding the redevelopment of 2 Millharbour near Canary Wharf. It bought the site in 2014 with Galliard and Frogmore, and achieved planning consent for a 901-apartment project six months later. It also led a consortium to develop the £750m The Stage in Shoreditch, and secured £190m to finance the £400m Islington Square scheme. The judges were impressed by Cain Hoy’s “bold decision-making”, “commitment” and ”flexible approach”.
(Highly commended: Homes and Communities Agency)
PRS Deal of the year
Long Harbour / Aberdeen Property Trust - One Eighty
In March 2015, Aberdeen completed one of the largest single-asset resi deals of the year when it bought the 166-unit One Eighty from Long Harbour for £60m. The scheme overlooks the Olympic Park and includes a 26-storey tower. Long Harbour bought it in 2014 when it was partially complete, and secured all approvals before finishing construction. The deal is Aberdeen’s largest in the UK’s private rented sector. “It was a gutsy purchase by Long Harbour, which matured into a bold transaction with Aberdeen,” said the judges.
Residential Consultancy Practice of the Year
Founded in 2012, CBRE Residential impressed with the speed of its ascent and size of its projects. “Winning credibility in such a short space of time clearly demonstrates an exceptional ability,” remarked the judges, noting it advised on the formation of the £2.2bn joint venture Project Ace between Ballymore and Malaysian group Eco World Investment and on fundraising for the Silvertown Partnership’s £3.5bn regeneration of Royal Docks in east London.
The CBRE team was also appointed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to advise on regeneration sites with a gross development value of more than £1bn. In total it is advising on schemes in London with a combined value of at least £50bn, and is looking to grow this further in the coming years.
(Highly commended: SAY Property Consulting)
Retirement Living Operator of the Year
Audley owns and operates 12 luxury retirement villages in the UK. It buys and renovates redundant buildings and adds a surrounding village. Its plan is to complete two villages a year, and in December it secured £170m from Moorfield to help it double in size. “They offer integrated services, enabling the owner to stay in their home,” said the judges. “This shows a real understanding of their customers’ needs.”
Student Accommodation Operator of the Year
Described by the judges as “the market leader that continues to lead the market”, Unite Students is a pioneer in the purpose-built student housing market, with more than 46,000 students living in its blocks. Highlights of 2015 included growing its portfolio by 3,000 beds; hitting 99% occupancy; and opening the 759-bed Angel Lane in London and 484-bed Orchard Heights in Bristol. The company is also working on developments in London, as well as Aberdeen, Coventry, Edinburgh and Liverpool.
Newcomer of the Year
Residential crowdfunding site Property Partner launched in January 2015 to offer a new way of investing in professionally managed private rented homes. Praised for “improving transparency and liquidity in the sector”, the firm buys rental properties and allows individuals to invest whatever sum they want to, draw an income from rent and then benefit from capital appreciation when they sell. It grew its assets to £19m across 108 units in its first year, and hopes to grow to more than £100m by December, backed by Index Ventures, Octopus Investments and Seedcamp.
Small Developer of the Year
Founded in 2012, HUB Residential focuses on delivering affordable homes in London’s less central areas while taking advantage of major infrastructure projects, including Crossrail. Projects include the 360-apartment twintower Hoola scheme in Royal Docks and The Rehearsal Rooms in North Acton, one of the UK’s first purpose-built private rented schemes to be forward-funded by a UK institution. In late 2015, it agreed a deal with Fizzy Living for 189 units in The Material Store at the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes. “From how and where they have taken sites through planning to their sales record, HUB is innovative and refreshing,” said the judges. “They really stand out from the crowd.”
(Highly commended: Quinn Estates)
Large Developer of the Year
Founded in 1982, Ballymore has grown from a family-run Irish housebuilder into a major developer with a presence across Europe. Praised by the judges for its “innovative schemes” and “fantastic financial returns”, the company is involved with developments in some of London’s most significant regeneration areas. In early 2015, it signed a key deal with Malaysian group Eco World Investment to form the £2.2bn joint venture Project Ace. The vehicle is building three large housing projects including the 624-unit Wardian London near Canary Wharf, which launched in September. Last year, Ballymore also revealed plans for the striking midair swimming pool at Embassy Gardens in Nine Elms, and attracted the English National Ballet as anchor tenant at its City Island scheme. The judges added that it was “very client driven”.