Five Questions… … with Catherine Affleck
30 Sep 2019
Five Questions… … with Catherine Affleck, Group Operations Director and Head of Property Management at Bradley Hall Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents
1. Why did Bradley Hall choose to attend MIPIM 2019 as part of the Newcastle delegation?
We made the decision to attend alongside Invest Newcastle and the regional partners as we believed that it would give us the platform to showcase what the North East and Bradley Hall has to offer.
Although we currently do more outside of the region than ever before, our roots are firmly in the North East. We were delighted to take the opportunity to champion the fact that the North East is a fantastic place to live, work and do business alongside other successful organisations. We are passionate about our region and it is a priority of ours to attract investment to the area.
The PR and networking opportunities were also excellent. The event gave us the opportunity to spend time with regional senior public sector delegates and hear their thoughts and plans for the region.
2. What advice would you give attendees for MIPIM 2020?
I was given some good advice before MIPIM 2019, which was the first time I’d attended and I would definitely pass on that advice to any new partners considering MIPIM as part of the Invest Newcastle delegation. I was advised to attend the first time with an open mind, to not fully book up my diary to allow me to spend time on the stand and attend the regional presentations and events.
3. How is the North East property market performing?
Regardless of economic hurdles, business in the North East has managed to continue to thrive and adapt, remaining largely unscathed by the impending Brexit deadline. With the current climate likened to the Great Depression, large corporations have seemingly suffered the most, while North East SMEs continue to operate with confidence.
We know first-hand that several industries in the North East continue to be buoyant as we continue to represent loyal and new clients alike. The office market in the City Centre especially remains robust, with a total of 21 lettings agreed within the second quarter of the year, whilst out of town lettings totalled 32. This strong quarter brought the total space let for the first half of the year to an impressive 583,924 square feet.
4. How is Bradley Hall performing in 2019?
This year has been another great year for the firm as we continue to progress our growth strategy and expand the business. Our recent financial figures included a 20% increase in net profit as each area of the business continues to grow. Residential turnover has increased by 69% within a year whilst sales have increased by 172%.
We’ve recently welcomed a raft of new employees including six new members of staff during a period of significant growth – bringing our total above 50 team members, as well as occupying new larger, more central offices in Alnwick.
Other milestones have included being named as The Most Active Agents in the North East as well as the Most Active Retail Agents and Most Active Investment Agents of 2018 by Estates Gazette. As these awards are based purely on transactional data, we were honoured to receive them. Additionally, our Professional Services department was rated ‘Outstanding’ following an inspection by RICS.
Our Land, Development and New Homes department continues to thrive as they brought to market £100m of new homes including 15 sites across the North East, with over 200 plots for sale with a further 117 plots to be launched over the remainder of the year. The region’s booming new-build sector is further evidenced by BH Planning & Design projects, which could see the delivery of more than 4,000 new homes across the North East.
5. What do you predict for the future of Bradley Hall and the wider North East property market?
Bradley Hall has undergone a period of rapid expansion in recent years and we’re proud to now have a team which includes some of the best in class surveyors in their respective fields. We look forward to continuing that steady growth across the company.
The firm has built a reputation of being big enough to deliver but small enough to care, and our expansion hasn’t changed that. To enable us to maintain this professional and bespoke service we have streamlined the business to include individual departments and services lines which we look forward to enhancing and improving upon, whilst also keeping this personal touch we are so well known for. Property is all about people and we are dedicated to maintaining this approach towards our clients and customers.
In terms of the wider North East property market, we haven’t yet felt the full impact of Brexit however, it’s not uncommon for our market to experience a lag behind London. Despite this uncertainty we are optimistic about the region due to the number of exciting investment and development opportunities available.