ANDY GALL: It wouldn’t be the first time Peterborough has appealed to Londoners. Just cast your mind back to Roy Kinnear, dressed as the centurion, singing the praises of the Peterborough Effect in an ’80s TV ad. But it seems that we’re the place to be for people in North London. In fact, Peterborough estate agent Comptons has seen so much activity on their website from that quarter that they’re setting up shop on Park Lane in Mayfair. We can speak to Steve Compton now. Good morning Steve.
STEVE COMPTON: Good morning.
ANDY GALL: A bit pricey, isn’t it, to set up shop there?
STEVE COMPTON: Well we’re part of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, and they have got a shop in London, so they’re taking all of our properties down there in the middle of May.
ANDY GALL: Ok. So why are North Londoners wanting to move up here?
STEVE COMPTON: I think for several different reasons really. One is obviously you can get a lot more property for your money up here. As opposed to getting let’s say a terrace in North London, you could probably get a detached property in Peterborough.
ANDY GALL: Is it a bit worrying as well in some respects that I suppose you’ve got these people who commute to and from the City, that they kind of miss out on .. will the local economy benefit as much. You can imagine that they get on their train, go down to London, sometimes stay down there for much of the week I imagine, and then come back at the weekend.
STEVE COMPTON: Quite a lot do stay down there with friends. But also a lot more do travel every day. It takes 50 minutes each way to Kings Cross. And we’ve got quite a few that have moved out to Glinton, and quite a few of our friends commute each day. So, an hour and twenty minutes and you’re there.
ANDY GALL: And what type of demographic of people are you looking at, who have been approaching you considering moving to Peterborough?
STEVE COMPTON: All sorts really, from first-time buyers even to people that are retiring. Because a lot of people are downsizing at the moment, so they can sell their property in London, come up to Peterborough, buy a nice property, and put a nice little bit in the bank.
ANDY GALL: So how long are you going to be in Mayfair then? Is it just for a few days, or are you there long-term?
STEVE COMPTON: It is there long-term. We’re actually starting on 14th May. So we’re just looking for local people who’ve got their property on the market, or thinking of selling a property, and we’ll take it to Park Lane and see what we can do for them.
ANDY GALL: Ok Steve. How much interest has there been with people wanting to sell their homes in Peterborough? And has this move encouraged them to come forward?
STEVE COMPTON: There’s been a lot of interest. We’ve seen quite a few properties in the last two or three weeks, with people looking to try and sell their properties. It’s not an easy market at the moment, but we think try and be proactive rather than reactive, to help our customers.
ANDY GALL: And what kind of properties are you looking to put on the market? Is it a broad sweep? Are you looking at flats, studios, is it family houses? Is it everything, or is there a more particular type of property that these North Londoners are actually looking for?
STEVE COMPTON: It’s a broad market really. But basically, properties at two hundred thousand pounds plus, I would say normally, maybe up to three, four hundred thousand. That’s the sort of target market we’re looking at to take to Park Lane.
ANDY GALL: And do you think that will involve their being a spike in the value of houses within the Peterborough area? We found that the ripple effect from a lot of purchases of houses in Central London that went out towards all of the surrounding counties. Do you think that this popularity that you’re noticing with Peterborough properties from Londoners will increase the value of houses across the board?
STEVE COMPTON: Well hopefully. The housing market has stagnated for the last two or three years. But we’re finding now that the people who are buying houses aren’t putting in silly offers. So the houses that are on the market are actually selling . Normally if they get between 95% and 96% of the asking price, people are doing quite well.
ANDY GALL: Ok Steve. Thank you very much for talking to us. That’s Steve Compton from Peterborough estate agent Comptons. They’ve seen so much activity on their website from the last quarter that they’re setting up shop on Park Lane in Mayfair.