One-on-one interview: Jason Tebb of Ivy Gate
Continuing his series of interviews with leading estate agents from around the UK, Stephen Maunder speaks to Jason Tebb, founder and managing director of Ivy Gate
Could you please tell me a bit about Ivy Gate and the services you provide?
Ivy Gate is a relatively new brand, established in May 2013. We operate with a bespoke model more akin to realtors than traditional UK high street estate agencies. Here, the same individual works with a client from start to finish, providing a truly personal service. The company is backed by James Caan and covers the whole of Surrey and South West London, with Kingston, Surbiton, New Malden and Teddington being our core areas.
What is different about Ivy Gate?
Our experience and knowledge of the area we operate in. I've worked in this area for my entire career and all of our staff have been in their locations for over ten years. This local knowledge leads to many of our clients coming to us by personal referral. Because we don't have a presence on the high street, it's our mission to look better than everyone else online. All of our photographs are pro-shot and we offer 3D floor plans as standard. We are also avid online marketers and are active across the broad spectrum of social media.
What kinds of properties do you sell?
We deal with all kinds of properties, but we mainly tend to attract homes priced in the sectors of £500,000-750,000 and £750,000-1m. The core market of properties we are currently listing are family homes at price points of around £800,000 in New Malden and £600,000 in Kingston.
Who buys properties in your area?
There are two clear buying demographics, of which we see almost a 50/50 split. There are buyers who are living and upgrading locally, and buyers who are moving out of Central London in search of better value. In Central London, the market has grown so quickly in the last 12-18 months that the standard ‘upgrade' areas in the south west such as Putney, Southfields and Wimbledon are now out of reach for typical families. The ripple effect is spreading further out than ever before to places that still offer comparative value, a lifestyle balance and an easy commute in to the city.
What do you expect to see happen as the year progresses? Depending on which figures you look at, there are between 30% and 35% fewer properties on the market than a year ago. Basic supply and demand economics suggest prices will continue to rise as interest rates probably won't go up until after the next election. With growing employment and the return of London as an economic capital, things won't slow down immediately.
When we get in to the third quarter of the year I expect to see more properties coming on to the market and prices levelling off and achieving some kind of balance. Beyond this year, much will depend on the general election, which governs sentiment in the property market more than any other single event.