Not just ‘death, debt and divorce’ as Sheffield agents enjoy house surge

Mark Ross, co-owner of Redbrik Estate Agents
Mark Ross, co-owner of Redbrik Estate Agents
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Just a few years ago it was only ‘death, debt and divorce’ that made people buy or sell in Sheffield, jokes estate agent owner Mark Ross.

But Sheffield’s housing market is surging again, say city firms, on the back of a national growth reported by Halifax of 0.4 per cent month on month.

“The right property in the right area is doing very well.”, adds Saxton Mee’s Graziella Depaola. “We have one property that has 13 offers in on it at the moment.”

In particular, the south west of the city is burgeoning - with Whirlow, Ecclesall and Millhouses strongest.

And Mr Ross’ firm, Redbrik Estate Agents, has reaped the rewards. The firm has just opened its third branch, in Crystal Peaks, after setting up in 2013 and expanding since.

Former Blundells man Mr Ross leads the firm with business partner Julie Bulheller. He said: “When we set up in January 2013, the market was still poor. Quite a few people told me I was crazy.

“It was still at the back end of a recession. The challenge was that the market was still not very good and everybody was telling us to focus on lettings. But we stuck to what we knew.”

Mr Ross stressed the focus is on innovation, adding: “Our success has come about due to our customer focus, quality marketing and putting the needs of the customer first.”

“We do some innovative things. We try to remove the jargon and we have lifestyle brochures with information about the schools in the area, Ofsted, flood risks, planning applications, demographics.

“Fundamentally it’s an ethos. Not one single staff member has any targets. That allows us to focus on doing the right thing for the customer.”

Mr Ross says he has noticed the city’s housing market swing upwards first-hand, including that a lot of people are building their own homes as well as moving home to ‘better themselves’.

He added: “In some parts of Sheffield there are bidding wars and multiple offers, but others still haven’t returned to 2006 prices. It’s individual.

“For a few years I used to say I only saw people because of death, debt and divorce.

“A lot of the time now, it’s people wanting to buy for nice reasons, moving to better themselves.”