Art Deco houses and Modernist flats still the most popular style of architecture in Poole, Dorset.

As we celebrate our 26th year of trading as property agents in Canford Cliffs, Poole, Berkeleys has witnessed many changing architectural trends. Today we see art deco and modernist styled homes continuing to draw the most interest and appreciation locally, probably very much the way they did in the 1920s and 1930s.

In our regular blogs, we have celebrated many different types of local architecture. From Tudor to Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau to New England and Edwardian to Victorian, the local area is home to a diverse and eclectic architectural heritage. Each original home has its own story to tell, as well as influencing and guiding the design of new homes today.

Thanks to a wealth of data and insights available via our Berkeleys digital marketing platforms, it didn’t take long to uncover the spikes in user preferences, for all things art deco and modernist. For example, our all time most popular blog is our ‘Art Deco weekend in Poole‘ blog. It features a gallery of wonderful art deco buildings located around Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks and you can still take the tour today!

Art Deco House in Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset

Our new homes for sale in Canford Cliffs listings tell a similar story, with homes featuring art deco & modernist architecture attracting a high number of clicks and attention from potential buyers. Is it the flat roofs, white fascias, the beautiful curved buildings, the glass bricks or the nautical references to fine 1930s cruise liners that win over so many hearts? This home for sale in Sandborne Road on the coast, encompasses art deco credentials, and is designed by award winning architect, David Wright.


In 2012 we published our ‘Local History, Local Heritage’ Berkeleys book on Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks. We dedicated a whole chapter to the magnificent 1930s architecture of the area featuring images like the ones below. Our clients still tell how much they enjoy the book, presented to every home buyer and seller. A copy can also be found at Canford Cliffs library.

Canford Cliffs Harbour Heights

Canford Cliffs Harbour Heights

We have A.J.Seal to thank for his visionary building design and iconic masterpieces of the 1920s. It’s probably time to write a new blog charting an architectural tour of the area, featuring newly built homes inspired by the era – there are indeed many to see and admire. New England style homes may be growing in popularity too, but art deco is our first love it seems.






Retirement Living – Try Before You Buy – Could Renting First Be A Good Idea?

Retirement living and moving to purpose-built retirement homes are highly topical conversations today, and not surprisingly, since here in the UK we are a population with an ageing demographic. If you, or a member of your family are considering selling a family home and moving into a retirement home, it is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly.

Poole is home to many attractive purpose-built, retirement homes. However relinquishing the freedom of your own home and moving into a new home with caretaker support may feel like too big a step. One solution could be to ‘rent before you buy,’ so that you can experience retirement living before buying and ensure this new choice is for you.

Berkeleys is currently offering to rent, a two bedroom retirement apartment in ‘Chartcombe’ in Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset. Chartcombe is built on the site of the well known Compton Acres gardens. There are 78 retirement apartments in total, in 2 blocks. This development is both prestigious & popular, and was developed by Regalian Properties Plc in 1992. It is also a short level walk to the village of Canford Cliffs.

Compton Acres

Compton Acres Gardens, Canford Cliffs, Poole

Chartcombe is approached by a short drive lined with rhododendrons with access controlled by electronically operated entrance gates and video camera monitoring. Each apartment has a video entryphone enabling visitors to be seen at the main gate. The development is situated in the themed gardens of Compton Acres, adjacent to Parkstone Golf Course. One of the buildings has a spectacular atrium rising through three galleries to a glazed dome. Some of the apartments have panoramic views over the pine trees and golf course to Poole Harbour and the nearby water gardens. Most apartments have spaces in the underground garaging.

Chartcombe, Canford Cliffs

Chartcombe, Canford Cliffs

Additional facilities include a visiting manager and emergency alarm service. All residents can access the two guest suites, drawing room, kitchen, and hairdressing salon. Residents are able to use a private entrance gate into Compton Acres Gardens when they are open to the public.

Compton Acres was built in 1924. It is a unique late Victorian mixed style design with seven distinct themed gardens – including the famous Italian & Japanese Gardens. Mr Simpson, a margarine entrepreneur, purchased the property as a seaside residence in 1920 and achieved his dream of ‘building a garden with a difference’. His vision was to create a series of gardens to embody the experience of his worldwide travels and his interest in horticulture.

Having undergone extensive refurbishment in the past 10 years, Compton Acres is now highly regarded as one of the most important historic gardens in England. Grade II listed and protected for the public to enjoy, it offers hours of enjoyment, and an ever changing colourful landscape throughout the seasons.

For those with greater vision and budget, the gardens are believed to be for sale currently. However, if retirement living is on your agenda, Chartcombe could offer the solution.

Dorset Tudor-bethan heritage home celebrated

Historic Tudor-bethan heritage homes are making headlines again. When John Lennon’s former Surrey country house was recently listed for sale, the spotlight fell on an architectural style which takes its influences from the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s.

Tower Road House

This charming Tudor-bethan home in Poole Dorset, for sale by Berkeleys, is a magnificent example of a popular 1930s style which imitated Tudor architecture and heralded a Tudor revival at that time. It was built in 1935.

Taking its influences from the Arts and Crafts movement, this house style embodies a mix of timber and red brick features. The areas of intricate, herringbone red brickwork, the wooden window frames with iron casements and the leaded panes are all signature mock-Tudor features.

The central porch has a slanting hood, supported by broad timber columns with iron brackets featuring decoratively today. The house is two-storeys high and has two symmetrical, angled sides, originally designed to bring in maximum light to the interior. Inside, there is a magnificent, oak-panelled reception hallway and false ceiling beams feature throughout. The exposed brick fireplace in the hallway echoes an Inglenook style.

Tower Road House3

This three bedroom house is situated on a secluded plot of land located in prestigious Branksome Park, Poole. It also features a heated pool to the rear, with sun terrace, changing rooms and Jacuzzi hot tub, ensuring contemporary lifestyle needs are catered for too. The house is offered for sale at £995,000. Contact Berkeleys on UK +44 1202 708383.

The Property Market in Branksome Park, Poole, Dorset

It’s encouraging to see that there is movement in the property market here in the UK. Good news at last.  We thought you might be interested to know what the current activity is in one Dorset’s most prestigious residential areas: Branksome Park. We have researched local property market activity for you and here are our findings…

Bury Road House

Branksome Park is one of Poole’s most affluent areas, offering a variety of house prices from small 1960s flats costing just under £200,000 to mansions costing well over £3 million. Since the turn of the 20th century, those who wanted larger areas of land, were seen to make the move from other areas of Bournemouth into Branksome Park. With some excellent schools nearby, privacy but not isolation, blue flag sandy beaches within walking distance and Westbourne village close by; the area remains ever popular with local residents and home buyers moving from outside of this area.

Branksome Park

The above figures for Branksome Park show that the area has achieved a top price of £486 per sq. ft. across all sales. In the market sector for homes over £200,000, sales of just over £17million have been recorded this year, and for flats, sales of £14million have been recorded to date.

Bury Road House, BP

Of considerable interest is that 81 homes for sale have been recorded year to date in the >£700,000 sector. With Branksome Park Conservation area and its magnificent tree-lined roads still very popular, the area offers both space and tranquillity.There are currently 22 homes for sale in the strategic price band of £1 million to £2 million. The number for homes for sale remains high and offers a wide choice for buyers.

Although fewer potential buyers are viewing homes for sale currently, the market is far from “quiet” at this point of the year.  It’s always a great time for people to be researching what they might want to do in the new year; whether they are changing job and moving to the area, where and in which street they might want to live, and moving into the catchment areas for the best schools, as applications get underway for the following academic year. We also know that there are a number of buyers in the area who are searching for second homes or holiday homes.

The team here at Berkeleys feels there is a greater enthusiasm from our potential buyers, and we have a higher volume of walk-in enquiries to our office in Canford Cliffs, researching what homes may be coming to the market soon.

Of course, there are still negative notes, not least (i) the possibility of a mansion tax at some point after the next UK election, curtailing run-away demand in the top end of the market and (ii) the overhang of the large number of properties which are still for sale in all segments of the local market, some of which are over-inflated in their pricing.

Read the full report on Branksome Park, Poole, Dorset on our website. or visit us to obtain a printed copy of this report. We look forward to welcoming you.

May modernist homes and interiors

The MidCentury Show in London takes place on 12th May at Lords Cricket Ground. Every year it seems to gather yet more interest and popularity and it is easy to see why.

50 top modernist dealers attend the show, selling interior design classics including Wegner, Eames, Jacobsen, Nelson and Day. Lords’ Midcentury Modern show itself overlooks the stunning Stirling Prize winner of a raised pod, the Media Centre designed by Future Systems which, for all architectural trainspotters out there, was the first aluminium, semi-monocoque building in the world, built and fitted-out in two boatyards using boat-building technology. You can also take in a view of the Mound Stand, designed by Sir Michael Hopkins and the Grandstand designed by Nicholas Grimshaw if you visit.

Poole, Dorset has always been the home of many outstanding original modernist buildings, including the Harbour Heights Hotel in Sandbanks, open for all to visit and enjoy. Many coastal homes built more recently in Poole exude strong modernist architectural influences like this stunning home in Branksome Park, Poole.

Western Avenue, Poole - Berkeleys 1 WEB

Any committed modernist fan could not help but have noticed the influence of the Mad Men series this season, in all its 1960s glory. There is a wonderful 1960s photo-gallery published by the Telegraph this week which features the best of 1960s homes currently for sale.

And good news for modernist purists. Eileen Gray’s original 1920s modernist home “E.1027” in coastal Roquebrune, Cap-Martin, South of France is undergoing extensive renovation and will be open to the public later in the year. Add to the list of summer pursuits!

E.1027 Eileen Gray, Roquebrune - Cap Martin 2

A retrospective exhibition of Eileen Gray’s work opened in March at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, but hurry, it ends 20th May, 2013. She was the reclusive Irish architect and designer, now recognised along with her nemesis Le Corbusier as one of the key figures of Modernism.

Finally, contemporary modern homes for sale, with a modernist twist, are celebrated in this beautiful photo-gallery published by Yahoo! this month.

May modernism abounds.

Berkeleys comments on the Budget 2013 announcement

Jeremy Priestley, Director, Berkeleys comments on the Budget 2013 and its implications for the prime property market in Sandbanks and Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset:

“The additional assistance for buyers via the Funding for Lending and Help to Buy schemes is, of course, welcome, particularly since the resurgence of activity in the upper-market levels needs to be under-pinned by the ability of all the lower value segments to function efficiently.

Thus, the extension of interest-free equity loans to those who are not first-time buyers and on new-build properties worth up to £600,000 will enable many more people to move up the housing ladder and so “unlock” some of the logjam that has had such a stultifying effect locally.

That said, negative sentiment cannot be finally put aside in that there is still the looming spectre of a change of government in 2015, even if the Chancellor does succeed in stimulating some growth with his new-found infrastructure funds. The negative impact on confidence and on house prices that such an event would presage via the potential advent of a mansion tax, or any other form of wealth or capital taxation, as well as further tightening of the already punitive Stamp Duty Land Tax regime, especially at the top end, would be very significant, especially for the area of Sandbanks, Canford Cliffs, Branksome Park and other areas surrounding Poole Harbour, Dorset.

On the upside, it has been however heartening recently to see that there is an increasing sense of reality returning to the mind-set of some vendors – prices are being reduced, in some case pretty drastically – and this in turn is producing spots of resurgent activity.”

Property Marketing Insight – Sandbanks & Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset

Property in Sandbanks, Canford Cliffs and Branksome Park, Poole, Dorset – there is, we suspect, we would all agree, an intrinsic “je ne sais quoi” about why people buy property here – reasons could include a hefty sprinkling of lifestyle, climate, accessibility, seaside, sailing, golf, kindred spirits – but, at the end of the day, it all boils down to “It’s a great place to be.”

Banks Road 4 beach04

However, the brickbats are being thrown by HMRC and – increasingly – in a very targeted fashion. Stamp Duty increases over the last couple of years (>£1m @ 5%; >£2m @7%, 15% if corporate). More in prospect? Mansion Tax – if brought in by a Labour government, in our view it will have a material, negative, impact. Bad news. Outside London, this would be one of the few UK locations to feel the effect.

And then, there’s the economy ……… the banks are still hoarding cash as they re-capitalise their balance sheets; mortgages are far from plentiful and there simply aren’t so many people looking. More specifically, there are 130+ properties at prices in excess of £1.5m currently on the market for sale in BH13 and BH14, of which some 70+ are either plots where construction has not yet been started, plus those under construction or which are new (less than 12 months following completion), in all amounting to nearly £260m of property for sale (NB at asking prices > £1.5m ONLY).

However, it’s not all bad news for owners. That last figure is down from over £350m in October 2012 – there have been at least 24 such properties withdrawn from marketing (for various reasons) and a further 20+ sold subject to contract since then, so the (apparent) over-supply picture is improving. More than that, of those houses and apartments which have sold, the average discount to original asking price has dropped from c. 35+% to c. 25% in the same period. So, for those who do wish to sell, there is a market. But beware the flattery. There are too many property specialists out there telling you what you want to hear and, in the long run, they’re not doing you any service.

Overall, sales in the area are holding up: £55m worth last year (2012), in line with the 5 year average, even if 35% down on the peak property performance year 2007 at £85m. Not bad in a recession. But ….. a word of advice. Pricing realism is the key to achieving a sale.

Market snapshot – Properties within BH13, BH14, BH15 sold at prices > £1.5m

(NB: 2012 figures have been annualised from November 2012, the date of the latest
available Land Registry returns at the survey date)


Branksome Park

Canford Cliffs