New estate agent signals market boom
THE quiet leafy streets of some of Glasgow's most popular suburbs could soon be echoing to the sounds of more "for sale" signs being hammered into the ground.
A new wave of competition in the high-end housing market is expected to kick off when upmarket estate agency Rettie opens its doors in Bearsden next week.
From there, the firm is also targeting Milngavie and south west Stirlingshire.
It puts the business in direct competition with long-established players such as Corum and Clyde Property.
Even before the office formally opens next week, Rettie has sealed a £1 million off-market transaction and has 20 more properties lined up for sale, with prices ranging from £240,000 to £1.1m.
The Edinburgh company opened its first office in Glasgow five years ago on Bath Street and added a West End site on Byres Road two years ago.
Jonathan Riley, managing partner of Rettie Bearsden, said: "There has been a very dominant agent in the area for the last seven or eight years so it is nice to be giving people some choice.
"We had a recent off-market sale of a £1m property. We had been invited to a house and had some clients in mind so asked if they could come along.
"We took them out on the Saturday, took them back on the Tuesday and the deal was done on the Thursday.
"You could not have had a better start than that and we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
"The market is difficult but it is not all negative.
"These areas had around 700 transactions in 2011, with the market now stabilised after the downturn several years ago.
"With average prices around £260,000, Bearsden accounted for around half of these transactions, with property prices a little higher, at £270,000.
"Our current market predictions are that we will see broadly stable prices for the next two to three years in places like Bearsden which should benefit more from the overall market upturn that we expect in 2014-15.
"It's a vibrant, affluent area with many thousands of commuters travelling from here into the West End and other parts of Glasgow."
Corum last year sold £52m of property around Bearsden, Milngavie, Strathblane, Blanefield, Killearn, Drymen and Balfron.
John Kelly, managing partner, said: "Business is exceptionally good for us in Bearsden and it is a very popular area.
"Anything which gives choice to the consumer is a good thing, so we welcome any competition and won't be taking anything for granted."
Ross Wilson, spokesman for Clyde Property, said: "Competition is something you have to accept in business.
"Any business opening up in a community in this economic environment is to be welcomed.
"Clyde Property has a large market share in East Dunbartonshire and was actually founded in Bearsden.
"We have been around a long time and are confident in the services we provide."
Mr Riley added: "The days of putting property in a window and throwing them on the internet and them all selling are gone.
"Estate agency has really gone back to being a networking business.
"You have to network with surveyors and lawyers and work your buyer network to know who in the area has sold and who wants to buy."
Article taken from the Hearld Online, published 21st April 2012, click here to view article.
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