Carling Property Group welcomes first residents to St. Stephen’s new apartments

Eight new residents have received the keys to their new apartments in a former old school house in Blairgowrie.

Carling Property Group’s latest affordable housing project is a set of seven one-bedroom properties and one studio apartment occupying the former St. Stephen’s RC Primary School.

The Blairgowrie apartments, with rents starting at £250 a month, are being let through the Perth and Kinross Council-run PKC Lets.

Priority for applications was given to those working in the local area, over-55s and applicants with medical needs. There was strong interest in the new apartments, which feature secondary glazing, new flooring, private parking and disabled access. Enquiries came from a wide range of people including working professionals and retirees, demonstrating the demand for affordable accommodation in Blairgowrie. All the potential tenants who were given a ‘first look’ of the properties were delighted with the accommodation and quick to snap them up.

Kayley Hallgarth from PKC explains; “Within a day of having the flats advertised we became inundated with calls and e-mail enquiries with people looking to view the flats straight away. They have been extremely popular. We had our first tenant signing and moving in within 5 days of viewing the flats.

I think the Old School House conversion has not only transformed an empty building and brought it back to life but it has also provided people within the local community good quality, affordable housing. The flats have been made to a very high standard giving all the tenants very modern, bright and spacious living areas, whilst keeping the traditional character of the building which is really nice to see.”

George Retrick was welcomed to his new home by Leanne Carling, co-founder of Carling Property Group, and Kayley Hallgarth, PKC Lets Private Sector Officer.

Already an established Blairgowrie resident, George is downsizing from a larger property in Rattray, which was proving difficult to keep warm over winter.

“I’m so much closer to family now, with my sister living just around the corner,” said George. “This flat will be easier to keep heated, and it’s much closer to the facilities in the town centre. It’s perfect for me.”

Funded partly by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Islands Housing Fund, which helps change buildings into homes, the new properties offer much-needed affordable housing in Blairgowrie.

Carling Property Group makes history with affordable housing partnership with Scottish Government

Property and investment firm Carling Property Group has made history as the first private property developer to receive affordable housing support from the Scottish Government.

Carling Property Group (CPG), whose mission is to fill the gap in affordable accommodation in Scotland, qualified for a substantial six figure sum from the Scottish Government’s Rural and Islands Housing Fund. CPG has used the money to convert a former old school house in Blairgowrie, Perthshire into eight properties, complete with secondary glazing, new flooring, private parking and disabled access.

The new properties at the former St. Stephen’s RC Primary School mark the latest affordable housing project for CPG, which also counts student and senior housing among its ventures. CPG is currently at work converting the former Chance Inn in Inverkeilor, Angus into affordable housing rentals.
CPG is believed to be the only private property developer to have received RIHF money. It has also worked with the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership on the Blairgowrie project, with SEHP providing support with grant and property applications.

Graeme Carling, co-founder with wife Leanne Carling of Carling Property Group, said the Blairgowrie properties were already attracting interest, proving that demand continues to be high for affordable housing across Scotland.

Graeme said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government, via its Rural and Islands Housing Fund, has supported a private developer for the first time. As we expected, there has been strong interest in the apartments. This clearly demonstrates the need for more affordable housing in the area, and in Scotland. We remain committed to helping fill this gap but, sadly for those seeking affordable accommodation, there is still much work to be done in this sector.”

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, which hosts the Scottish Empty Homes
Partnership on behalf of the Scottish Government, said:

“The conversion of this former school is a fantastic example of how empty properties can be part of the solution to Scotland’s shortage of affordable homes. Particularly in more rural communities it can be much more cost-effective to renovate existing empty homes or convert empty non-residential buildings to housing rather than start building from scratch on a greenfield site.”

CPG’s project in Blairgowrie features seven one-bedroom and one studio apartments, with rents starting at £250 a month. The properties are being let through the Perth and Kinross Council-run PKC Lets. Priority is being given to those working in the local area, over-55s and applicants with medical needs.

Carling Property Group enters student market with affordable rentals

Property and investment firm Carling Property Group has entered the student accommodation market with the acquisition of Alloway Halls, formerly owned by Abertay University. The Dundee-based company is to turn the halls of residence into affordable student housing, with rents at a lower rate than when the University owned them.

Announcing the news, owner Graeme Carling invited John Alexander, Convenor of Neighborhood Services, to view the property, now called Kingsway Apartments. The price for the halls is £75 per week.

With more than two decades in property development and investment, Graeme and wife Leanne are now Scotland’s largest private residential landlords and are making a name for themselves in delivering quality affordable private sector housing to the Scottish rental market.

Graeme Carling, co-founder of Carling Property Group along with Leanne, said:
“There is a distinct shortage of quality, affordable housing in Scotland, including in the student market. We believe our acquisition of Alloway Halls and the rental rates we are setting will go a little way to addressing that issue in Dundee.”

“We had a number of ideas for what to do with the property, but then spotted a gap in the market for good accommodation for students that is not outside of their reach financially. We’re excited to be dipping our toe into the student market.”

John Alexander added:
“Demand for decent, affordable housing in Scotland is at an all-time high, and with reports showing that demand is outstripping supply, it’s heartening to see investors like the Carlings trying to fill a much-needed gap. The Kingsway Apartments project is proof that quality needn’t be compromised in return for affordability.”

Carling Property Group owns and manages 350 rental properties all over Scotland with most in the Dundee and Arbroath area. The company is on course to increase its portfolio to 1,000 properties within the next five years.

Case Study: Burrelton Garden & Sibbald Street

sibbald stCarling Property Group own and manage rental properties all over the country with many properties in the Dundee and Arbroath area. Run by Graeme and Leanne Carling, a husband and wife team, Carling Property Group are committed to providing quality affordable housing for their tenants and are on course to increase their affordable housing portfolio to 1,000 properties within the next five years. The acquisition of a portfolio of 10 empty homes including Burrelton Garden & Sibbald Street properties follows hot on the heels of a £3.1m deal to purchase another 45 properties in Dundee earlier this summer, taking their property portfolio to over 200.

As well as growing their property repertoire, Graeme and Leanne are implementing a business model that will help to alleviate the affordable housing shortage in the Tayside area.

There are many problems faced by people in Scotland looking to access affordable housing and this group of properties have been empty for up to 3.5 years, exacerbating the problems experienced in this sector even further. After a £280,000 programme of essential repairs, the 10 properties were repaired, upgraded and ready for occupancy within 8 months.

Kitchen 3

Sibbald Street, a two-bedroom apartment, and Burrelton Gardens, a three-bedroom mid-terrace house (both in Dundee) were the properties which required the most work. The entire upper level of the Burrelton Gardens property was fire damaged and required a new roof, new bathroom, new ceiling, new electrics, a new gas boiler, complete re-decoration, new flooring and a new front and back garden. The Sibbald Street apartment was completely flood damaged and required a new kitchen, bathroom, ceiling, plumbing, electrics, flooring and windows, plus complete re-decoration.

Burrelton Gardens and Sibbald Street both saw significant refurbishment costs of £40,000 and £25,000 respectively, with works at Burrelton completed within 3 months and at Sibbald Street in under 2 months. Both of these properties, along with the other 8 in the project and entirety of the Carling Property Group portfolio are retained for the rental market, at affordable rates (as dictated by local housing authority) for the long term future.

All 10 of the properties that were included as part of this portfolio acquisition and re-development project were occupied within one month of being listed to the market and all remain occupied by tenants enjoying quality, safe and secure homes at affordable rates.

Carling Property Group financed the development projects themselves with no bank lending or government/ local authority grants. The project was personally managed by both Graeme and Leanne who employed a team of 16 local contractors to complete necessary works.

Exterior Rear 4It is a long standing passion of both Graeme and Leanne to offer quality and affordable housing to the local market and, though this has continued to pose financial challenges due to increased legislation and newly introduced government initiatives, they both remain determine to offer an alternative solution to the local housing and rental situation across Scotland, believing that private organisations have an important role to play in supporting local housing authorities to improve living conditions and quality of life for those whom the rental market is their only option. As the only private landlords in Scotland currently committed to offering properties at affordable housing rates, and one of the largest private landlords by number of properties owned, Carling Property Group hopes to serve as an example of how to do things differently, offer a solution to a problem facing the nation, whilst developing a successful and profitable business.

Carling Property Group acquire Alloway Halls in Dundee and become Scotland’s largest independent residential landlord

Dundee property and investment firm Carling Property Group has this week confirmed the acquisition of Alloway Halls in Dundee from Abertay University in a seven figure deal that sees them take the lead as Scotland’s largest independent residential landlord.

The 148 tenancies secured in the purchase of the building, takes Carling Property Group’s portfolio to over 350 properties making them the biggest independent group in Scotland and one of the biggest in the UK.

The Group last year took the award for Most Outstanding Affordable Housing Provider in the UK 2015 at the UK Over 50s Housing Awards and this latest addition to their portfolio puts them firmly on track to own 1000 properties within the next 5 years.

Graeme Carling, co-founder of Carling Property Group, commented:

“We are delighted to have successfully acquired Alloway Halls from the University of Abertay who were an absolute pleasure to deal with. This is a significant purchase for our business and is part of a multi-million pound plan for the site. There’s a tangible shortage of quality affordable housing in Scotland, and a collection of well-maintained properties like this will help us to plug that gap.”

“The residential property investment market is a volatile landscape for small operators at the moment and, with the introduction of new tax changes, investment in this sector will undoubtedly become increasingly difficult. As a sustainable business with the intent to provide affordable housing at our core, Carling Property Group believe scale is vitally important to ensuring the future of affordable housing in the UK providing good quality and value for tenants and we’re well on track to achieving those aims.”

Situated to the north of Dundee, Alloway Halls were built by the University in the 1980s and enjoy excellent views of the Sidlaw Hills with easy access to the main travel routes in to and out of the city centre. They were refurbished by the University in recent years and, as well as the student accommodation blocks of which there are three, the purchase also includes two on-site three-bedroomed caretakers bungalows.

The deal was part financed by The Bank of Scotland, and overseen by McVey and Murricane in Glasgow, one of Scotland’s largest conveyancing practices.

News: Historic building gets luxury makeover in latest development from Carling Property Group

Dundee property and investment firm Carling Property Group is putting the finishing touches to its latest development project: a set of seven luxury apartments that will occupy a historic B listed building in Arbroath.

The Bank of Scotland building on Brothock Bridge dates back to the 19th century. In converting the upper two floors from offices into flats, Carling Property Group has retained all of the original features, as well as added upscale insulation, noise protection and heating systems. Bank of Scotland will continue to occupy the ground floor.

At the same time, Carling Property Group has just submitted plans to Angus Council for an upscale community for seniors in Inverkeilor. New Chance Inn Court will feature eight one-storey homes at the rear of the former Chance Inn, which itself is being converted into seven affordable housing rentals by CPG.

The Brothock Bridge and New Chance Inn Court developments mark a period of strong growth for the company, owned by husband and wife Graeme and Leanne Carling. They also signify a shift in the firm’s focus from providing primarily affordable housing, something the couple says was inevitable given the “challenges” of that market for private developers.

Plans for Carling Property Group to convert the former St. Stephen’s RC Primary School in Blairgowrie into affordable housing recently fell through after CPG’s application for £400,000 in funding from the Scottish Government’s Empty Homes Loan Fund was unsuccessful . CPG has now put the property back on the market.

Graeme Carling, co-founder of Carling Property Group, commented:

“We still see a shortage of quality affordable housing in Scotland, but as a privately funded company we require some financial support to help us to do that. We’re disappointed we had to abandon the St. Stephen’s project because that means overall we are unable to supply 25 affordable housing units for the people of Perthshire, Dundee and Angus. We may never get to the bottom of why we didn’t qualify but what is absolutely certain is that these homes have been lost as affordable housing.

“We had hoped to turn the Brothock Bridge flats into affordable rental properties too, but we can only do that if financial assistance is available through the Government, which in turn helps subsidise long-term discounted rent. So instead we will be putting them up for sale and positioning them for high-end buyers.

“That said, despite these challenges, we continue to be highly focused on the section of the population that needs affordable housing. We continue also to be on the lookout for existing properties to renovate.”

Carling Property Group owns and manages 200 rental properties all over Scotland, with most in the Dundee and Arbroath area. The company is on course to increase its portfolio to 1,000 properties within the next five years.

News: John Street properties expands its portfolio in award-winning deal

Our John Street deal has been included in the Bank of Scotland Commercial Banking newsletter

“John Street Properties Limited, the Dundee-based affordable housing provider, has purchased 45 city centre properties along with a conversion project to develop eight further flats, having secured a £1.5million finance package from Bank of Scotland.”

Read the full article here: BoS John Street Feature

News: Carling Property Group to offer senior housing with a difference as elderly population booms

Dundee property and investment firm Carling Property Group is addressing the needs of a rapidly growing sector of seniors: those who want housing that’s community-friendly and practical, but still stylish.

Carling Property Group wants to build eight homes for over-55s in the Angus village of Inverkeilor: six one-bedroomed and two two-bedroomed properties. Plans submitted last week to Angus Council are for new-build terraced one-storey homes on half an acre of land behind the former Chance Inn on Main Road. CPG won planning approval last November to convert the former inn into seven affordable housing apartments.

New Chance Inn Court, designed to promote upscale community living for seniors, will be for sale. They will include: wheelchair accessibility; the latest in thermal insulation; covered front porches; parking spaces; a communal courtyard; and gardens to the front and back of the properties.

Graeme Carling, co-founder of Carling Property Group, commented:

“As people live longer, what we’re seeing is a changing market among seniors.  They want practicality but they also want luxury. They’re choosing where and how they’d like to live. Inverkeilor is a perfect location for these types of properties, which will feature the latest in materials and designs.

“This development, bang in the centre of the village, is aimed at people from the village and surrounding areas who want to remain in Inverkeilor but also want to enjoy the convenience and community benefits of senior housing.”

Funding for the proposed £1m development – covering all seven apartments and eight senior citizen homes – will come from a combination of private European investors and bank loans.

The rapidly growing Carling Property Group won an award last year for Most Outstanding Affordable Housing Provider in the UK at the UK Over 50s Housing Awards 2015. The company has a high level of tenants aged over 50 in its properties, but this is the first time it has planned a development exclusively for seniors.

The move comes as Scotland’s elderly population is on the rise. The number of households headed by people aged 65 and over is expected to increase by almost 54% by 2037, and the number of households headed by someone aged 85 and over is projected to more than double, according to Government statistics*.

Carling Property Group, run by husband and wife Graeme and Leanne Carling, owns and manages 200 rental properties all over Scotland, with most in the Dundee and Arbroath area. The company is on course to increase their portfolio to 1,000 properties within the next five years.

As well as the Inverkeilor project, CPG is putting the finishing touches to a conversion of the former Bank of Scotland on Brothock Bridge, Arbroath into seven upscale apartments. These will be available for sale in the Spring.

To find out more about our housing click here

Carling Award

News: Carling & Co win Outstanding Housing Provider Award

Dundee property development and investment group, Carling & Co, has picked up the award for Most Outstanding Affordable Housing Provider in the UK 2015 at the UK Over 50s Housing Awards, held this week in London.

The awards, now in their sixth year, were created by the UK Over 50s Housing Weekly News to celebrate and reward excellence in the UK Over 50s housing sector and Carling & Co have proven to be an outstanding business in this sector.

Run by Graeme and Leanne Carling, a husband and wife team, Carling & Co own and manage rental properties all over the country with many properties in the Dundee and Arbroath area. The award has recognised their commitment to providing quality affordable housing for their tenants.

After securing several multi-million pounds deals to secure more affordable housing solutions in the Dundee and Angus area in 2015, Carling & Co are on course to increase their affordable housing portfolio to 1,000 properties within the next five years.

Graeme Carling, Co-Founder of Carling & Co, commented:

“2015 has been an exciting year of growth for us and we are very proud to be recognised by the UK Over 50s Housing Awards for our work in developing Affordable Housing solutions in the Dundee and Angus area. Our success, which has culminated in winning this award, has been a real team effort with our staff, colleagues and many other stakeholders playing a key role in our growth this year.

“There are many problems faced by people in Scotland looking to access affordable housing. It is particularly difficult for young families, those on low incomes and first time buyers. The work of private companies like Carling & Co is invaluable in helping to improve the housing situation. We are very aware that there is an affordable housing shortage in many areas of Scotland and we are doing our bit to help improve the situation by providing affordable housing solutions in the Dundee area.”

Find out more about our affordable & seniors housing options here

News: £1m Property Deal Expands Affordable Housing Options in Dundee & Angus

Dundee property development and investment group, Carling & Co, has successfully completed a £1million deal which will see an additional 17 affordable housing options become available for tenants in the Dundee and Angus area.

The deal was privately funded by Carling & Co and successfully completed on Friday afternoon, completing the acquisition of 10 one and two bedroom properties in Dundee, as well as The Chance Inn at Inverkeilor. The move will see the former village pub converted into seven affordable residential properties.  The Dundee properties should be available by early September while the development in Inverkeilor is expected to be ready for occupancy early 2016, pending final planning approval.

Carling & Co own and manage rental properties all over the country with many properties in the Dundee and Arbroath area.

Run by Graeme and Leanne Carling, a husband and wife team, the duo are committed to providing quality affordable housing for their tenants and are on course to increase their affordable housing portfolio to 1,000 properties within the next five years. This latest acquisition follows hot on the heels of a £3.1m deal to purchase 45 properties in Dundee earlier this summer, taking their property portfolio to over 200.

As well as growing their property repertoire, Graeme and Leanne are implementing a business model that will help to alleviate the affordable housing shortage in the Tayside area.

Graeme Carling, Co-Founder of Carling & Co, commented:

“I am delighted that Carling & Co will be able to deliver 17 more affordable housing solutions in Dundee City and in Inverkeilor. There are many problems faced by people in Scotland looking to access affordable housing and these properties have been empty for two years, exacerbating the problems experience in this sector even further. After a programme of essential repairs, we’ll have the Dundee properties upgraded and ready for occupancy within the next few weeks. We expect to have works on the Inverkeillor properties underway as soon as possible, following the conclusion of the formalities of council planning permissions which are already being progressed.”

“Access to affordable housing is particularly difficult for young families, those on low incomes and first time buyers. The work of private companies like Carling & Co is invaluable in helping to improve the housing situation. We are very aware that there is an affordable housing shortage in many areas of Scotland and we are doing our bit to help improve the situation by providing affordable housing solutions in the Dundee area.”

To find out more about our housing options click here