Monthly Archives: December 2014

Intrepid Duo walks for local hospices

Bramhall

Photo caption (l-r): Leighton Snow, Manager of Cheadle Office, Abigail Biggs, Matthew Clark, and Moharram Shah from the Bramhall Office, and Peter Higham, Operations Director

The intrepid duo of Peter Higham and Leighton Snow from Gascoigne Halman, have just completed a walk from East Cheshire Hospice in Macclesfield to St Ann’s Hospice in Heald Green – a distance of approximately 15 miles, raising £2300 for these two very worthy hospices.

The pair completed the walk as the final fundraising event of 2014, which has seen the estate agency raise over £10,000 for East Cheshire, St Ann’s, and St Rocco’s Hospices.

Peter and Leighton called into Gascoigne Halman offices in Prestbury, Poynton and Bramhall along the way for refreshments and support from their colleagues, family, and friends.

These exceptionally spirited members of the Gascoigne Halman team have also been involved in many of the company’s fundraising challenges this year including a 5-a-side football match, ‘It’s a Knockout’ challenge, charity bike ride, Wilmslow Half Marathon, a duck race, a Bakethon, and a sponsored walk at Lyme Park.

Commenting on the year of fundraising, Peter Higham, Operations Director of Gascoigne Halman, said: “We’re are really pleased to have supported these local hospices throughout the year.  They do such great work and truly deserve a helping hand. Leighton and I would like to thank everyone for supporting us and for your kind donations.”

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Gascoigne Halman Named Best Agent in the Cheshire & North Wales Region

Photo Caption (L-R): Stephen Mangan, The Gascoigne Halman Team, and Richard Tucker. Independent estate agent, Gascoigne Halman is delighted to announce that they have won Relocation Agent Network’s prestigious 2014 Best Agent Cheshire & North Wales Regional Award at the Network’s annual National Conference, held at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, London on Friday 14 November.

The annual prize gives the winning agency the title of ‘Best Agent in the Cheshire & North Wales Region’ and is awarded on a number of criteria measuring the agent’s overall contribution to Relocation Agent Network, their ability to achieve customer satisfaction, a strong market share locally and a proven record of helping relocating buyers move both in and out of the area.

The National Conference culminated in an evening black tie Awards Dinner hosted by acclaimed comedy actor, Stephen Mangan, best known for his role as the delusional and arrogant anesthetist, Guy Secretan in the hit Channel 4 hospital sitcom, Green Wing. Currently he stars in the BBC 2 comedy, Episodes with Matt LeBlanc. Stephen announced Gascoigne Halman’s award win.

John Halman comments, “We are really proud to be named the region’s best Relocation Agent Network member as it recognises the hard work and combined effort of everyone here at Gascoigne Halman. The award win clearly demonstrates to our buying and selling customers that we are one of Cheshire’s leading estate agents.”

Richard Tucker, Relocation Agent Network’s Managing Director said, “Gascoigne Halman’s outstanding customer service, independent business initiatives, local market share and commitment to our Network principles means that this award is thoroughly deserved. Congratulations to all the team at Gascoigne Halman.”

Information about Gascoigne Halman can be found by visiting their website http://www.gascoignehalman.co.uk/

Market Review December 2014

Market receives boost from Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

As we move towards the end of the year we can reflect on a significantly improved property market in our local area with overall price rises of between 5% and 10%.  This compares favourably to the North West generally where, according to the Nationwide and Halifax statistics, properties have risen in value by less than 5%.

This divergence from the figures for the North West is brought about by our local market enjoying higher levels of employment and prosperity than many of the industrial areas which form part of the region.  In fact, when comparing the South Manchester/North Cheshire area generally, I often find that my company’s average price exceeds all parts of the country apart from those located in London and the immediately adjoining counties.

It is particularly pleasing that the market has continued to support a high level of sales right into November, a time when things traditionally become quieter.  Some correspondents are suggesting that the surge in economic activity is petering out but housing remains a highly sought after commodity and seems to be regarded as a safe haven for people’s savings and pensions.

This confidence has resulted in us seeing a growth in the number of private landlords entering into the Buy to Let market where returns can exceed those found in banks and building societies and where the investment is deemed as safe as houses!  Like all investments it is not without an element of risk but anybody who looks back in history will see the long term average is inevitably upward.  Rents too have continued to edge upwards as demand outstrips supply.

Of greater interest is what the market will do as we move into 2015.  The Chancellor’s surprise announcement in the Autumn Budget Statement of a massive overhaul of the Stamp Duty system is welcome, as many in the industry have been arguing for some years that the method of calculation as a slab tax is unfair.  Henceforth it will be calculated on a sliding scale with less Stamp Duty payable on all transactions where the house price is less than £937,500.   Early predictions suggest that this will have a beneficial effect on the number of transactions next year and some pundits are arguing that it may add between 1% and 2% to average prices.

In addition, the indications are that bank rate is likely to remain at its current level of 0.5% for the majority of 2015 with some forecasters now predicting no change before 2016.  As a result we have seen a progressive lowering of the rate of interest of fixed term mortgage deals with some five year fixed products as low as 2.6%.

Of course, next year is an election year which inevitably brings with it a degree of uncertainty and nervousness which can be reflected in the market.  The economic outlook has had a bumpy ride through the autumn with forecasts of slowing growth in China and a flat economy at best in Europe.  Although these places are a long way from Cheshire they will undoubtedly have an effect on our market and prices through the coming twelve months.

Overall, however, we remain encouraged that the Chancellor’s changes will provide a boost to activity and that prices will continue to edge upwards through next year, albeit at a slower rate than this year.

We therefore look forward with continued optimism to the coming twelve months but with a little more uncertainty for the period thereafter.

John Halman

John Halman is Managing Director of Gascoigne Halman, an estate agent with eighteen offices in South Manchester and is the North West Regional Residential Spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Gascoigne Halman’s Lee Tickle Wins National ‘Employee of the Year’ Award

Lee Tickle and TM training and development’s Peter Chapman

Lee Tickle from Gascoigne Halman in Stockton Heath is celebrating after being awarded Relocation Agent Network’s Employee of the Year Award 2014. The accolade acknowledges the individual’s ability to continually go above and beyond their daily duties in providing the highest service to their customers.

The Employee of the Year Award, sponsored by TM training and development, was announced at the Network’s annual National Conference, held this year at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London on Friday 14 November. The Annual Conference and Awards Dinner includes an industry leading trade exhibition and has become one of the UK’s most prestigious estate agency events and a calendar highlight for Network members.

John Halman said, “Gascoigne Halman is delighted that Lee Tickle has been named Employee of the Year 2014. Lee is an invaluable member of the Stockton Heath team, continually demonstrating the highest standards of professionalism and continually going the extra mile for his customers.”

Relocation Agent Network’s Managing Director, Richard Tucker said of the win, “The Employee of the Year Award recognises the high calibre of staff employed by our members. It’s a fantastic accolade for Gascoigne Halman and a great achievement for Lee, who has worked hard to be crowned 2014’s Employee of the Year.”

For further information, please contact Gascoigne Halman, 01925 860 400 or stocktonheath@gascoignehalman.co.uk

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