Leeds property: Let there be sales

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LINLEY & Simpson’s new residential sales division has marked its first month of business by passing two milestones.

Not only has the agency’s sales portfolio expanded to include 100 properties, but one of its branches, Leeds city centre, has sealed deals on more than £1m worth of apartments – finding buyers for half the homes it had on its books.

Members of the public may have already noticed the lettings company’s adverts on the back of buses driving round Leeds city centre.

Now it seems they that having made a name for themselves in the rental market, they have made a real splash in house sales.

The company, which had grown into Yorkshire’s largest letting specialists since launching 16 years ago, launched a dedicated residential sales niche to add an extra dimension to its services.

After a successful trial at its branch in Saltaire, its three Leeds offices – at Roundhay, Horsforth and Swinegate in the city centre – were the first to go ‘live’ with a sales service.

The remainder of Linley & Simpson’s network – Ilkley, Harrogate, Ripon, Wetherby, York and Wakefield – will launch their own sales offering as part of a phased roll-out taking place over the next six months.

Head of residential sales, Mark Christopher, said it was a natural progression for the company.

He said: “Launching a specialist sales arm was a natural progression for a company like Linley & Simpson, given its long-standing presence in the Yorkshire property market and the pool of expertise that exists across all 10 branches.

“We’re delighted with both the support we have received from people looking to sell their properties with us – as well as with the sales we have clinched across all branches, which underlines the confidence in the market ahead of one of the busiest times of the year.

“We look forward to building on this platform in the months ahead as we extend our sales expertise to new areas.”

The upturn in the Yorkshire sales market – buoyed by returning confidence, increased buyer activity and initiatives like the Help to Buy scheme - is highlighted by the sale of a three-bedroomed house in Roman Avenue, Roundhay. It went to market as its owner went on holiday – and was sold by the time she had come back.

Linley & Simpson valuation manager Sandra Wright said: “The first viewings were booked within two hours of it coming to market, with another seven before the sale was agreed. We also had to cancel a further five viewings after the offer was agreed.”

This success was quickly followed up by the sale of a property in Kingscroft, Moortown, within five days of being marketed.

Sandra added: “These sales serve to demonstrate how quick the market is moving at the moment.”

News of the company’s first foray into the sales arena has gone better than expected only bolsters existing claims that the Leeds housing market is buoyant.

However, some have questioned whether it is expanding too quickly and there are concerns nationally that rising house prices could end up creating yet another housing bubble.

A recent fall in inflation was welcomed yesterday because it narrows the gap between price rises and wage rises.

A fall in petrol prices pushed the UK inflation rate to a new four-year low of 1.7 per cent last month, figures show.

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