Leeds and London-based architectural practice Edward Architecture has seen a 10% growth in turnover and 17% increase in gross profit despite challenging and rising market costs. Both the housing sector and the modular market are key drivers of growth and remain active, with the practice predicting a strong pipeline of work with an uplift in projects from housing associations taking over private housebuilder sales as the market softens.
The team of 12 has grown and remains focused on their ESG commitments with the practice donating more than 250 hours to charitable work, including the Holbeck Viaduct project, a proposal to reinvent a 1.7 mile viaduct as a linear cycleway, walkway and urban park linking the city centre to Leeds United’s ground. Since Edward Architecture was formed in 2005, the company has delivered £2.9m in social value, predominantly locally.
The company has worked across a number of highlight projects, including an urban social housing scheme in Openshaw for Your Housing, with the development of 216 bespoke homes and apartments partly handed over. The scheme, which includes the creation of a key community square, provides a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bed houses and apartments for market sale, shared ownership and affordable rent tenures.
As well as the housing market remaining active, modular housing has become more competitive, particularly in the South of England where traditional build rates have risen the fastest. There is also a buoyancy within strategic land and court of protection work with the practice seeing a rise in enquiries.
Edward Architecture’s expertise and work with the Landsolve framework exposes the practice to many local authorities and it forecasts opportunities leading from local authority asset sales during 2023, as they navigate key issues with additional costs and low carbon commitments. This will prompt sales of assets in both building and land to help realise funds and remove buildings with expensive energy costs from their property portfolios.
Graham Edward, Managing Director, Edward Architecture commented;
“We experienced increased activity in the first three quarters of 2022 despite an unstable government, interest rate rises and escalating build costs with hints in the final quarter that the property market is starting to tighten its belt. 2023 will see a continuation of this tightening effect rather than a huge dip in activity.
“Demand is still huge in both residential and logistics markets, however, the viability of new shed schemes has quickly become constricted as build costs have risen well over £100 per sq ft and volatile interest rates are leading to resistance from investors. As the market tightens, build costs and rates should stabilise and even come back to more viable levels.
“We have a strong team in place to push forward our growth strategy and I’m confident we will continue to build the practice across our core areas of residential, strategic masterplanning and accessible design, as well as exploit new sectors.”