Alex Goldstein, www.alexgoldstein.co.uk
Q: How did you end up working in property? At university, I was looking to earn some extra money and approached my parents’ neighbour who had a thriving estate agency. We agreed I could work for three weeks and it ended up being three months. When it came to securing my first job at Cluttons, I was leagues ahead of any other graduate as I had experience and insight. Rarely for many, I have remained in the property sector, which really paid off when I set up my own business.
Q:How is the housing market faring in your areas? The majority of my work is within an hour of Harrogate, with some time also spent in London. I continue to see large swathes of buyers, many of them families, relocating from the south and, as a result, the Yorkshire market is thriving. There is a strong movement towards better work/lifestyle balance and quality of life. More businesses are adopting flexible working, so you can work in Yorkshire and commute to London.
The London market on the other hand has been very tough. It has arguably bottomed out now and confidence is coming back but there are some great deals to be had.
Q: Are there any up-and-coming places? Yes, Yorkshire. The market is strong with solid demand. The move by Channel 4 to Leeds, along with Google, HMRC and sizeable London businesses all having footings in the region, is really pushing the whole area to new heights. Add this to The Tour de France, Tour de Yorkshire, UCI World Championships and regular national news coverage, and it ensures that Yorkshire is on an upward trajectory. How many counties can you name that actually have a brand?
Q:If you were the Housing Minister what would you do and why? My top three priorities would be to dismiss every minister involved with housing policy from the last 10 years. We have a mess and no politician has understood or grasped what is required. Secondly, I would reform Stamp Duty Land Tax. It is a blunt instrument and doesn’t actually solve the problems we face. Thirdly, I would make the corporate developers fully accountable and question their greed/morality. Dare I mention the leasehold scandal, poor quality builds, lack of infrastructure, commuted sums and land banking?
Q: Where and what is your ideal home? I moved with my young family about 18 months ago in Harrogate and we undertook a full update of the property and extended. We are very happy there, with a large garden for the kids and open
plan living. The Seychelles is always tempting but it’s a bit far to see my family.