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Virtual house viewing over 5,000 miles away seals the deal for move to Westhoughton

The Lau family, made up of Chris, his wife Frankie, their two daughters, and their dog, Pop, have moved to Northstone’s Silkash development in Westhoughton after travel restrictions meant they had to purchase their new home virtually from Hong Kong.


The family began looking for a new home in the UK in 2020. Having studied at a UK university, Chris was drawn to the country thanks to its leading education system, friendly people and abundance of natural space. Home to the third largest city in the UK and with a lower cost of living than London, the Lau family knew they wanted to move to Greater Manchester.


In August 2020, the Lau family came across Silkash in Westhoughton. Having built a relationship with the sales team online, Chris and Frankie were given a tour of Silkash. Even though the homes weren’t yet complete, the family were able to view the house frames and the developing landscape.

After further research, the Lau family were impressed by the local environment and amenities including a nature reserve and nearby primary and secondary schools. They were also won over by the emphasis on community at Silkash, which was especially important in moving from a different country.


Chris explains: “As this is our first house in the UK, it was quite a daunting process, but the sales team were so helpful, walking us through the site over a video call and answering all of our questions passionately and patiently. We had to go with our gut, but we are so happy with our decision!”


The pandemic made the move more challenging than under normal circumstances, with the family having to self-isolate on arrival and rely on the support of the Northstone team at Silkash to help them settle in.


Chris added: “We arrived in the UK without any furniture for our new home, and lockdown restrictions meant that we couldn’t leave the house for the first couple of weeks. The Northstone team helped us to gather everything that we needed, including organising some temporary furniture while we got everything sorted.  We’re now completely settled in and are loving our home and our new neighbours. The design of the house is so unique; we especially love the French windows facing the garden.”


Silkash, the first development from the Northern homebuilder, part of Peel L&P, is set to be completed by the end of 2023, providing 150 homes which prioritise quality design, sustainability and community.


Anita Jolley, senior sales manager at Northstone, part of Peel L&P, said: “We've seen a significant increase in families interested in relocating to the UK from Hong Kong, supported by the launch of the new Gov't visa scheme which offers a fast track to UK citizenship for Hong Kong residents. The fact that Chris and his family chose Westhoughton as their first home in the UK just shows how attractive a place it is to live. With the stunning landscapes of Lancashire on your doorstep, there’s a real connection to nature at Silkash, but what really makes it stand apart is the strong sense of community, which is only growing as more residents move in.”


22 homes at Silkash are currently available as part of Phase 2, with 24 already sold.