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Interview With James Bridgeland Belvoir Sheffield Sales Director

James, what is your experience of the Sheffield property market? I've had 15 years experience ...

James, what is your experience of the Sheffield property market?

I’ve had 15 years experience of begin an estate agent in Sheffield, since graduating in 1999. I started out as a rental valuer, 5 years doing that. 5 years as a sales valuer for another company, then another 4 or 5 years as a sales valuer back at the original company I started with. So all in all I’ve had 15 years being an estate agent, 10 of which have been in sales. Then I came here about a month or so ago to help on the sales department.

What do you think about the current Sheffield Property Market (November 2013)?

It’s been great, yeah. Since about February or March the market has significantly improved. Areas of the market are performing better than others, but in general prices are going up activity is definitely up. South-west market, family homes south-west Sheffield are performing exceptionally well and have been since February or March. Anything over £500,000 does seem to be a little bit of a battle. But I’ve bee pleasantly surprised with the appetite for city centre investments since coming down to Belvoir!. We’ve sold a very healthy number of properties, most of which are city centre apartments. Most of which have been to investors, and there seems to be a real appetite for them at the moment. So at the moment it’s all-good. I can see next year improving as well with the government Help to Buy Scheme. With the bit of momentum we’ve got I the market this year, I can see the ark days are behind us, and the market steadily and definitely improving.

Do you think the Governments Help to Buy scheme will have an impact in 2014?

I think it will, I think it will definitely kick-start the bottom of the market. Like I said above £500,000 has been a bit of a battle and then the lower end of the market, specifically first time buyer market, where they’ve struggled to obtain mortgage finance to buy the property, that’s been a little bit a little bit lean. But I think the Help to Buy Scheme will only help improve the activity at the lower level of the market, with more options for first time buyers to purchase their first property.

What can Belvoir! Sheffield Property Sales offer the seller?

I think first an foremost it’ll be service, I think one thing that we’ll be extremely keen on and pride ourselves on is the quality of the service we offer. We will be price competitive on fees, we wont necessarily be the cheapest agency in the city but we definitely wont be the most expensive. I think the service you will get from us will be reflected in the fees, we will have high visibility marketing strategies we’ve already put into place. Lots of social media, professional photography, professional bespoke floor-planners, professional UPCs, bespoke brochures access to newspaper advertising. Really impressed with the distinctive ‘For Sale’ boards that we’ve been already been putting up around the city. We invested heavily in new technology with the latest feed-required-based software, which is absolutely fantastic to work with. So I think we’re all set to get the best price for everybody’s properties in the timescale that suits vendors.

What recent successes have you had so far in late 2013?

Selling some city centre apartments, it has been a very very healthy start. We’ve taken on a very very healthy number of properties. I think we are way in excess of where we expected to be in the run up to Christmas, in terms of numbers of new instructions. But also very pleasantly surprised with the activity levels we’ve seen on the new instructions and the number of sales. So all in all it’s been a very very successful start.

Has that been just Sheffield City Centre or City wide?

It’s been a broad spectrum, given the location of our office and given the backing that we’ve got from the rental department, a lot of new instructions have been city centre based, but we’re certainly not limiting ourselves to selling city centre apartments. We’ve taken on properties in Rivelin Valley, a fantastic apartment at Eccles Hall, a lovely terrace at Ely that have all received a decent level of interest. And 2 of the 3 properties I’ve just mentioned sold within 7 days or so. So, although at the moment most of our stock is city centre based we will take on properties all over the city. The last month has shown we can sell properties in the suburbs as well as the city centre.

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