Agent Insight: Nick Hapgood of Hamptons International in Epsom, Surrey
We continue our series of interviews with leading estate agents by speaking to Nick Hapgood, manager of Hamptons International in Epsom, Surrey
Could you please give us a brief introduction to your company and the areas in which you operate?
Hamptons International operates predominantly in London and the south of England, and has over 80 branches in the UK, with a strong network of offices working with buyers who live in and around the capital. My branch is based in Epsom in Surrey, and covers quite a few of the surrounding towns including Ashtead, Kingswood and Barnstead. We also work closely with some of our other offices in the area, including our Esher branch on the other side of the A3.
What types of properties do you sell?
In the last quarter our market share has been very strong in the £600,000 - £2m bracket, although we also sell properties priced between £200,000-500,000.
What is the property market currently like in your area?
The market is strong, with good levels of demand and stock throughout the area. Taking in to account the wide area we cover and our position as a well-respected brand, we are a good pull for both buyers and sellers. Supply issues may be more prevalent for very local agents. Our buyers come from varied backgrounds and tend to specify an area they would like to live, rather than a particular street.
Who buys property in Epsom?
We see plenty of young families moving from London. These buyers have perhaps lived in terraced or semi-detached properties and are now in search of homes with more land, green space and better schools. These types of buyers usually come in at around the £800,000 mark. We also have a very strong market of buyers upsizing and downsizing within the local area. Investors are also attracted to the area - they see Epsom as a great place for capital growth in the long term. We don't really come across too many first-time buyers - and it's probably fair to say that property prices here reflect the ease of commuting in to central London.
What attracts potential buyers to Epsom?
Epsom is a very attractive proposition for buyers. It is very easy to commute in and out of London, with trains to central London only taking around 30 minutes. It's not all about commuter links, though; the town is also a great place to live, with good employment and some highly regarded schools.
What do you expect to see happen in the local market during the remainder of the year?
In the remainder of 2014, I expect to see more property come on to the market and buyer demand continuing to remain strong. We have a very stable marketplace here in Surrey and I don't expect that to change too much. It's a very good time for people who are downsizing and those who are looking to move in to a property for the long term and make the most of capital growth.