How did you end up in estate agency? My career in residential agency began when I spotted a small advertisement in the Yorkshire Post for a secretarial position at the Ilkley branch of Dacre, Son & Hartley. I spent many
hours photocopying sales particulars and sticking on photographs. I progressed from secretary to personal assistant before embarking on a role within the New Homes Department and from there on in, you could say that the rest is history. During my there I was fortunate to have leared the ropes from Tony Wright, David Chary and Jim Horsley. After 10 years with Dacres, I had a short spell at Carter Jonas then joined Knight Frank before rejoining Carter Jonas in 2014 to set up the Northern New Homes Division. It is growing from strength-to-strength with a number of major instructions in the pipeline.
How is the housing market faring in your area? The new homes market is always ‘feast or famine' in terms of activity, supply and demand. The market is refreshingly active after several years of recovery since the crash in 2007 and good quality homes in good locations, close to amenities and in particular, good schooling, are very desirable. We are also experiencing a ‘flight' to the cities and towns. Demand is soaring for well-designed, newly-built or converted properties providing conveniently located and secure “lock up and leave” accommodation.
The hotspots of Harrogate and York together with the neighbouring villages continue to be extremely sought-after.
Are there any up and coming places you can tell us about? Towns and villages such as Addingham, Skipton, Pateley Bridge, Wetherby, Boston Spa, Spofforth, West Park in Leeds have a community spirit, cool café
culture and a plethora of pretty pubs and bars, destination bistros, restaurants and convenience stores, together with walkability and sociability, which are now very much in demand.
If you were the Housing Minister, what would you do and why? Stamp Duty is in great need of change. It doesn't just impact the first-time buyers but also those who at the top of it, who are now opting to refurbish and extend rather than endure the Stamp Duty levies.
What would your ideal home be? I consider myself fortunate. I live in a village, with a number of excellent pubs, equidistant from a very desirable town and the Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. Bolton Abbey is on our doorstep.