Monday, 27 September 2021

Planning goes digital

WHETHER you’re a planning authority needing to assess a proposed building’s impact on surroundings, or developers

WHETHER you’re a planning authority needing to assess a proposed building’s impact on surroundings, or developers marketing their new properties, today’s computer-generated imagery (CGI) and 3D graphics can really help turn ideas into something more tangible and “real”.

But unlike space-based blockbuster Gravity, with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, which is said to have used 80 per cent of its $100m budget on CGI, when it comes to selling your house, the cost of digital imagery doesn’t have to be out-of-this-world.

High-end digital creative agencies can organise CGI photos for a fraction of the cost of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Standard Property spoke to Wonder Vision, an agency which prides itself on “creating one-of-a-kind computer generated images”, and has been involved in a number of local projects.

Joe Thomas, a director at Wonder Vision, said: “With the planning permission secured for one project in Shiplake we worked directly with the developers to conceive inspiring architectural CGIs which allowed the property to be marketed effectively, to build genuine interest, long before completion.

“The use of CGI for the marketing drive was so successful that the property was instantly sold off-plan as a ‘kit’ for the buyer to build.”

Modern CGI photos look a lot like photographs, and can make all the difference to seeing a property as a desirable prospect or not.

CGI is also useful if your house just won’t sell because potential buyers can’t visualise its potential.

One agent said: “We had a house like this — but after the CGI, inquiries went up, viewings went up and it sold very quickly.

“We envisaged an extension which provided a utility room on the ground floor, a bedroom above and pulled out the roof to create two gables which made much more space inside.

“The estimated building costs were £75,000 to £80,000. The house had been on the market at £630,000. With the new plans and images, it went back on the market at £710,000 and sold for £699,000.”

Oliver Symons at Ballards on Hart Street has a similar tale to tell. He said: “We have seen CGIs increase the saleability and value of both existing houses with permission to extend, and also plots of land with potential. The use of imagery gives prospective purchasers a clear idea of what the new house will look like, removing uncertainty and bringing a project to life.

“In the past year we have sold development plots and houses priced between £1million and £3.5million which I believe sold so well in no small part due to the CGI used. We currently have a plot of land for sale in Normanstead with a guide price of £1.6million. However, interested parties can also buy the finished house — a four or five-bedroom Georgian-style mansion, for £3.2million.”

He added: “The interest has been very high due to the imagery which shows prospective purchasers what the house will look like when it is built.”

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