Natalie Parks is joint managing director of Woolley & Parks estate agency in Beverley, Driffield and Hornsea. www.woolleyparks.co.uk
How did you end up working in property? I would love to be able to say that managing my own business in property was a lifelong dream but the reality is far less glamorous. I was walking past the Halifax bank in my local town and noticed a sign for ‘cashier wanted’. I secured the job but after one week it became clear I spent more time talking to customers than dealing with their banking needs so I transferred to the property side of the business and never looked back. I found an industry I loved, had the best training ever and worked with some fantastic people.
How is the housing market faring in your areas? Driffield saw house price growth of 6.93 per cent in 2018. This was great news for the town and, having spent over a decade working in Driffield and surrounding areas, it was about time in my opinion. We are also proud to have an office in Beverley and a personal agent service in Hornsea where property continues to hold its price and where homes sell well. First time buyers are very active, as well as families, both of which have a confidence in the market and feel a sense of security when buying homes in the area.
Are there any up-and-coming places? Up-and-coming areas to watch would be some of the villages on the outskirts of these towns with the likes of Brandesburton and Leven fetching premium prices as they have good rated schools, amenities and transport links. Much needed new homes are coming to both these villages and, with very little supply of second hand stock, I’m sure these sites will be popular with buyers locally and from out ofthe area.
If you were the Housing Minister what would you do? I have a few things I would love to see done differently. However, my first job would be to shake up the conveyancing process. On average it’s taking 14-18 weeks from sale agreed to actual completion. I appreciate survey, searches and mortgage applications take a little while buyers often have to wait a further four months before receiving their keys. On top of that is the increased risk of the sale falling down, chains breaking, circumstances of buyers or sellers changing or even a change in the market, not to mention the cost implications for everyone involved. Over 25 per cent of all sales agreed don’t make it to finish line and many buyers just cannot afford to try again. The process needs to be more streamlined with many aspects being completed digitally. The current system is too traditional to keep up with today’s demands.
What your ideal home? I would love to own a plot of land and self-build. I’d have a bespoke design that was personal to me and my family. My teenage children would love to be involved, however, I’m not quite sure my budget would stretch to a netball court, indoor pool and gaming room but we can all dream.