Adapting to the Evolving Landscape of the New Homes Market.

April 16, 2024

Developers must innovate as buyer profiles evolve, or risk falling behind in the dynamic market.

Author | Paul Skuse, Oakfield Design & Creation

The property landscape is swiftly transforming, and with it, the profiles of buyers seeking new homes. In an exclusive interview with Tori Le Masurier, leading new homes agent at Bristol’s Knight Frank, we delve into the crux of today’s local market changes and the adaptive strategies agents and developers must employ to stay ahead.

“The successful agent today needs to look beyond the traditional blueprint for sales and understand people’s changing lifestyles. At Knight Frank, we continually monitor the market, we track the source of our enquiries and locations our applicants are coming from and try and make the path from them to us as easy possible which in turn boosts sales.”

Tori Le Masurier, Knight Frank

The New ‘Forever Home’ Trend in Bristol

The city, country and coastal lifestyle of the West Country is drawing a new wave of “empty-nester” buyers from London and the home counties. As Tori Le Masurier explains, these discerning individuals are relocating to be closer to their families, embracing the role of “grandparent care” while seeking homes that offer the perfect blend of space, luxury, and convenience. These homes are not just living spaces but a central hub for everyday life blended with extended family time, often needing to accommodate friends as guests from their previous locales.

For agents, this signals a need to recalibrate focus and extend their reach beyond Bristol databases to accommodate the influx of these lifestyle-changing, family-centric buyers. The key lies in recognising this shift towards Bristol and surrounding areas as destinations for “forever homes,” where the emphasis on quality and space aligns with the desire for a more connected family life.

“Knight Frank have offices across the country and internationally and our new homes teams work in tandem with all our local residential and international sales teams to make sure that we have maximum coverage making it easier for applicants to find properties we are marketing for sale.”

Tori Le Masurier, Knight Frank

Broadening Horizons: From City Centre Flats to Global Buyers

Knight Frank’s strategy encapsulates this ethos, successfully marketing to a diverse clientele across the Globe. This national and global approach taps into a rich vein of potential buyers, including academic professionals and international students, thereby amplifying the demand for centrally-located, well-appointed living spaces. Almost all the buyers who bought new build property from Knight Frank in Bristol last year were from abroad often, contacting the agents individually via Whatsapp so not via the traditional route through portals.

Rent to Buy: A New Frontier for Developers

An emerging trend that Tori highlights is the inventive “rent to buy” scheme, where a year’s rent transitions into a property deposit. It’s a win-win: tenants may leapfrog into homeownership, while developers foster loyalty and incentivise purchases. If tenants choose not to buy, the accrued rent serves as a financial buffer for the developers. This creative approach could be a game-changer, offering a tangible solution to those grappling with down payments, and thereby broadening the appeal of a development.

Embracing Change for Market Success

The new homes market is not just changing; it’s evolving at a pace where agility and foresight become the harbingers of success. Agents who anticipate trends by tracking market movements and analysing changing demographics will be far better equipped to target buyers beyond their traditional, geographical boundaries. As the buyer landscape diversifies, embracing a broader reach and innovative sales strategies is no longer optional—it’s imperative.

Tori can be connected with at:

The benefits of using planning CGI for commercial developments.

March 6, 2024

From a planning perspective, the use of architectural visualisation for commercial developments is invaluable.

Author | Paul Skuse, Oakfield Design & Creation

What are the benefits of planning CGI for commercial development?

Using CGI to help plan commercial developments can save time and money.

It can help speed up the planning process by accurately representing how a development will look. This can help persuade planners and residents that a scheme is beneficial to avoid potential objections.

By creating a realistic 3D model of your proposed commercial development, planners can better understand how the finished project will look and identify any potential problems early on.

This helps to avoid costly delays further down the line.

You can also use your CGI to support your sales and marketing activities. By showing potential investors or tenants a realistic representation of what the finished project will look like, you can increase interest in your scheme and maximise returns on investment.

Here, we take a closer look at the benefits of using planning CGI for commercial property developments and how you can make the most of this vital tool.

The benefits of using planning CGI for commercial developments

When it comes to using CGI for commercial developments, the benefits are numerous, including:

  • It’s quick
  • It’s cost-effective
  • It allows seamless details and precision
  • It can help bring presentations and marketing to life
  • It’s a fantastic way of promoting the development to potential investors and buyers
  • It helps identify and iron out any issues before construction
  • It’s easy to edit and collaborate

However, from a planning perspective, the use of architectural visualisation for commercial developments is invaluable for the following reasons:

Show multiple designs

Using planning CGI can help you visualise multiple designs at once, making it easier for planning officers and committees to compare and contrast different options.

For example, you can create completely different versions of a proposed scheme to show how each would look or tweak some of the details, like textures, colours and finishes, to ensure the finished scheme is as attractive as possible and has minimal visual impact. You can even show how a building will look at various times of the day, or in different weather or lighting conditions.

Correct mistakes before construction

The best thing about using planning CGI to visualise your scheme is that it’s easy to correct any mistakes or potential issues before building work begins. While you can be diligent in putting your application together, dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’, there still might be details you miss or things that come to light once your plans have been submitted.

Because planning CGI is so easy to adapt and change, these issues can quickly be rectified to put planners’ minds at ease, speed up the process and boost your chances of a successful outcome.

Showcase style and branding

In most commercial developments – particularly retail parks or other consumer environments – style, branding and visual design are extremely important.

The need to be attractive and appealing to draw customers in and deliver a positive experience.

This can be difficult to capture in a traditional 2D sketch or technical drawing.

With CGI, you can bring these elements to light to highlight the overall aesthetic of a scheme and alleviate any concerns planners may have about the impacts that details like signage and lighting might have.


Arguably the most significant benefit of planning CGI for commercial developments is its versatility. It can be used to showcase a wide range of options, from colours, materials, textures and finishes, to give planners and potential objectors a better understanding of how the finished scheme will look, function and interact with its environment.

How to get the most out of your planning CGI

Working with a professional team of CGI specialists, like Oakfield Design and Creation, will help ensure your planning CGI will work as hard for you as possible. We’ve worked in the industry for a long time and understand the planning process and the importance of providing compelling visual evidence to support your application and maximise its chances of success.

We know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating planning CGIs that help tell the right story and set the correct context. Some of the elements we’ll use include:

  • High-quality textures and materials to make your planning CGI look more realistic and inviting
  • Real-world details like people, trees, furniture and vehicles to bring your visualisation to life and make it more engaging
  • Realistic lighting that mimics the natural environment as much as possible to give a clear idea of how the proposed scheme will look, night and day
  • Simple details that are not exaggerated or over-the-top to ensure your CGI is as accurate as possible and avoid any adverse reactions from planners or potential objectors

With more than 30 years’ experience in the property development sector, we understand the planning process and how to navigate it successfully. We offer our clients high-quality, persuasive yet affordable CGI visualisations to support commercial planning applications and give them the best chance of success.

To find out more and talk about your project and how we can help, please get in touch