How did you end up in property? As a child, I was always interested in property, whether sketching houses or painting famous York properties as part of my A Levelart. I planned to become an architect, but had developed an interest in property values so decided instead to become a Chartered Surveyor. I qualified through the Valuation Office/District Valuer's Office and remained there for the first part of my career, I jumped ship to private practice in 2004 joining Robin Jessop Ltd.
How is the housing market faring in your area? The rural property market is very firm primarily due to the overall shortage of stock coupled with strong demand. We are experiencing high levels of interest and viewings with a number of recently listed properties going sale agreed within a couple of weeks. This firm market is evident with all types of property,including those requiring refurbishment and those already finished to a high specification. There are also a good number of cash buyers in the market as evidenced in our last two highly successful property auctions where all lots sold well above guide price.
Are there any up-and-coming places? There are a number of villages including Burneston, Kirkby Fleetham and Hackforth, which have been selling extremely well due to their close proximity to the newly upgraded A1(M). This seems to suggest that accessibility is becoming more important, although we have equally strong demand for properties well off the beaten track in the Yorkshire Dales. Overall I think it is fair to say that North Yorkshire as a whole is generally very fashionable.
If you were the Housing Minister what would you do? I believe more help needs to be provided for first-time buyers as they battle to catch up with ever increasing prices. The Help to Buy Scheme is all well and good but incentives need to be improved. I would improve on the English sale process to prevent an unnecessary number of transactions failing. The system needs to be streamlined and improved to help prevent gazumping and to make offers legally binding.
What are the best and worst things about working in property? The best is the variety of work with no two days being the same. The worst is managing time in the peak selling season.
Where and what your ideal home? A mortgage and bill free chateau with a full wine cellar in the south of France But seriously, aving moved house nine times, I already feel quite fulfilled having lived in two townhouses, two new-builds, a 1930s Art Deco house, a flat, a 1980s house, a barn conversion and our present house which has the benefits of most of the above.