• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Clyde out to expand network as sales rise

THE managing director of Clyde Property has plans to extend the company's branch network again this year amid growing volumes of property sales.

MAKING A MOVE: An increase in property sales has led to plans to extend the branch network. Picture: Martin Shields
MAKING A MOVE: An increase in property sales has led to plans to extend the branch network. Picture: Martin Shields

That comes after a successful launch of a site in Perth last month which is already taking on up to six properties a week and winning work from others operating in the city.

Clyde Property managing director Gary Thomson believes he has recruited a strong team for the site and is seeing encouraging signs from the rest of the market across west and central Scotland.

He said: "We had got a number of properties on even before we were open [in Perth] and even managed to get sales prior to officially opening on March 10.

"I'm not being cheeky, but Perth is something of a sleepy hollow which is mainly dominated by lawyers. What we have done is go up there and give it a bit of a shake up.

"We are open seven days, our phones are manned until 8pm at night by staff, not a call centre, and we have the [online portal] MyClyde."

Mr Thomson said Clyde Property has seen early success in the area and is expecting further growth in the coming months.

He said: "One house had been on [with a different agent] for nine-and-a-half months and we took it on and sold it in two weeks.

"More encouraging is that we have had a few lawyers in Perth who have approached us to say 'We do estate agency and if we pass you our business leads, would you reciprocate and refer business back on the conveyancing front?'

"They are basically admitting that they cannot compete with the level of service we provide."

Alongside that, Mr Thomson says traditional hotspots in Glasgow and the surrounding areas are seeing more and more properties going to closing dates, although prices are still relatively flat.

He said: "I don't want to give people the impression house prices are jumping up, however there are certain areas [which are popular].

"Once of my most improved branches is Clarkston. It is crystal clear the reason for that is the excellent rating for the non-fee paying schools there and we have actually seen noticeable increase in property value there.

"When things are difficult people contract back into areas they know are safe, so Bearsden and Milngavie are performing well.

"The problem is lack of stock, as we have thousands of buyers on our database looking for property, but what they are after is not coming to the market."

According to Mr Thomson around 40% of properties in the West End of Glasgow have gone to a closing date in the first 11 months of the company's financial year.

Of those receiving multiple offers, the prices are up around 4%.

Mr Thomson said continued state-backed support through Help to Buy is getting more people to think about moving house as well as making sure there are a range of mortgage options in the market.

As a result, he wants to expand Clyde Property further although that will be funded from profits and cash flow rather than taking on debt.

"Now that Perth has opened and business levels are increasing quite quickly, then I am looking to open another branch towards the end of the summer or autumn time," he added.

"It will either be adding on to our existing west central Scotland network or adding on to Perth in somewhere like Crieff or St Andrews."

Mr Thomson said Clyde Property created six jobs in Perth and had added 18 jobs across its west of Scotland branches in its current trading year.

He said: "In the financial year our estate agency income at 11 months is up 34%, which is hugely encouraging and our total turnover has increased by 20%.

"Since January viewing levels, people getting off their backsides to view houses are up 38%."

The company's letting portfolio now stands at around 2,600 units and Mr Thomson remains keen to move into the management of purpose built student accommodation blocks.

For its 2013 financial year, Clyde Property recorded pre-tax profits of £652,680 on turnover of £4.23 million.

Contextual targeting label: 
Finance

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

227473