This month we arranged to talk to one of our key partners to find out his views on the market and to pick his brains on what makes the property in South Manchester so sought-after.
Stuart Rushton from ‘Stuart Rushton & Company’ is a real specialist and a font of knowledge on the property bubble of South Manchester. It was fascinating to hear his thoughts on why the market is so strong, how it has been affected by Coronavirus and what the future holds.
Harvey Homes works closely with Stuart Rushton & Company in order to sell the properties at Swan Green at Knutsford and their advice and support is invaluable to us.
Can you give us a brief overview of Stuart Rushton & Company?
“We formed the company in 1998 and we are now the leading estate agent in Knutsford, with flagship premises on King Street in the town centre and 20 dedicated property experts working for us.
“We specialise in unusual, eye-catching and high-end properties in the area, but our focus has always been, and will always be, our customers and their requirements. Over the years we have developed a fantastic reputation and loyal customer base due to our personal service. Our enthusiastic team members are really committed to their clients and work hard to either help them find their dream house or sell their current home.
“This approach means that we have been recognised on the national stage and it has seen us win the accolade of ‘Best British Estate Agent’ from the British Property Awards for two years running (2018 and 2019).”
What has your career been like?
I started working in the property market aged 16 in Dorset on the south coast in an estate agent as a trainee. I moved to Manchester in the housing recession of the late 80s. I settled very quickly in South Manchester and it soon became home.
I worked for several different firms before setting up Stuart Rushton & Company in Knutsford. Property is what I’ve always done, and you could say it is my first and only job!”
What does a usual day consist of for you?
“I tend to get into the office at around 7.30am and spend the day working closely with the sales and lettings teams and helping them get through huge amounts of work!
“I also travel across the area valuing homes and looking after some of our customers directly.
“Family is very important to me, so I always do my best to get home to my wife and children by 7.30pm.”
What keeps you motivated at work each day?
“Even after more than 35 years in the business, I still love working in property and never get bored of dealing with bricks and mortar.
“The team here is like my second family and we work hard for each other, so it’s really for them that I stay so motivated and determined to succeed.”
How would you characterise the property market in this part of Cheshire?
“Resilient! It seems as though no matter what is thrown at the property market in South Manchester, it continues to survive and thrive. I think that this is in part due to the fact that this area has a massive diversity of employment that bolsters the local economy and keeps the property market moving.”
Is there anything that you think is particularly exciting about the property industry in the North?
“Manchester has grown over the years into what we Northerners fondly call the UK’s ‘second city’. Projects like Media City and lots of other big companies investing and bringing staff here has helped to grow the region and bolster the economy immeasurably. The airport and good rail links also make a big difference as well, as the area is so well connected to the rest of the UK, and the rest of the world!”
How do you think coronavirus has impacted the Northern property market?
“Obviously, coronavirus did temporarily halt the market but overall, I don’t think it will have a huge effect and I’m not really anticipating any long-lasting negative changes.
“House prices in this area always tend to hold up due to enviable locations, good quality houses and useful amenities. Buyers looking for ‘COVID-bargains’ are likely to be very disappointed!
“We’re already seeing recovery in the market and we’re very busy at the moment. We don’t expect to do quite the same volume of house sales over the next 6-9 months, but things are certainly looking positive.”
What precautions are your team taking against coronavirus?
“All our team members are now working in the office, as we find that we work more efficiently and collaboratively when we are together. We have got lots of precautions in place to keep the office and staff safe and it is currently closed to customers. Instead, we are going out more and meeting them at their homes.”
What is your company’s focus at the moment?
“At the moment, it’s to get the staff at Stuart Rushton & Company through this current situation healthy and happy and make sure that 2021 is better. I think it’s important to have an ‘onwards and upwards’ mentality and a positive philosophy to keep going. I know that the team will pull together, put this year behind us and emerge even stronger.”
What do you think of Harvey Homes’ properties?
“Harvey Homes’ properties are a great blend of contemporary style, balance, location, high specification features and the build quality on them is also very good. This winning combination means that they are a perfect fit for the region and there are lots of families and buyers who are looking for this exact type of property.”
What do you think the future holds for the property market in South Manchester?
I think that the property market in Manchester will continue to go from strength-to-strength in the next few months and years. It may be slow for a bit due to coronavirus, but it won’t take long to recover. At the end of the day, there has also never been a ‘cheaper’ time to buy a house as interest rates are at an all-time low.
“There are some fantastic properties in this region and good houses will always sell, especially because there is never enough stock to keep up with demand.”
Thank you so much for talking to us Stuart and for your continued support of Harvey Homes!