Property People Q&A: Mark Woolley

Mark Woolley is managing director and co-founder of Woolley Parks estate agency inn East Yorkshire,

Q: How did you end up in estate agency? As a boy I helped my parents renovate what became our family home and instantly I caught the property bug. After graduating from Leeds College of Building I embarked on a now 30 year career working for both estate agents and house builders. I opened Woolley Parks with my partner, Natalie Parks, three years ago.

Q: How is the housing market faring in your area? Both our Driffield and Beverley offices are extremely busy and we are seeing unprecedented levels of sales and listings in what I would describe as a perfectly balanced and buoyant market, favouring neither the seller nor the buyer. The influx of out-of- town purchasers, often from York and West Yorkshire, seeking more affordability and a better lifestyle, means that if property is priced realistically and marketed with us, demand is good and we usually sell it within a short period of time.

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Q: Are there any up-and-coming places? – Our new build properties are in great demand at the moment, especially in the villages. Kilham, Nafferton, Beeford and Brandesburton. They are hotspots for families looking for good schools, amenities and transport links, along with a quieter, semi-rural community lifestyle. The attraction of new homes is energy-efficiency and low maintenance.

Q: What would you do if you were Housing Minister? I would radically change the land supply and the town planning system, which is agonisingly

slow and outdated for our modern house building needs. The current system focuses more on larger sites where house builders just build the same houses from one site to the next and control the release of land and homes available. More help is needed for the small to medium sized builders, both in the release and availability of land and in a faster planning system. That way we would get the choice of homes we need built and create individual

communities with varied architecture and an interesting landscape.

Q: Best and worst about working in property? The best is getting to see some really beautiful homes. The worst is they are usually well over my budget, but I guess it's human nature to dream.

Q: What is your ideal home? I would love to build my own contemporary house, or at least design it and get someone else to build it for me. That way I can combine all the great design and styling ideas I've seen into a modern, energy-efficient, low-cost and maintenance-free home. Sadly, I'm still looking for that perfect building plot, so please do let me know if you have one.