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Property agency Happy at Home in Newport as it launches lettings in the city

(left to right): Tony Alonzi (Senior Sales Negotiator), Celyn Evans (Head of Communications), Susannah Lewis (Sales Progressor) and David Ramsay (Senior Sales Valuer)

James Douglas, the estate agency which bought Nuttall Parker less than two years ago, has increased its presence in Newport by launching its lettings arm into the city at the same time as making changes to its branding and acquiring a smaller competitor.

The business, which is part of the Seraph Group employs 60 people across south Wales and will see turnover increase to £3m following recent growth.

Speaking of life in one of Wales’ youngest cities, Douglas Haig, Managing Director of James Douglas, said: “Newport is an attractive place to buy with house prices significantly cheaper than Cardiff and Bristol as well as the excellent transport links.

“We are fiercely committed to Newport and since 2021, we have remained a top competitor in the market and are one of the most highly recommended agents in the area.

“We work with a local panel of solicitors, surveyors, removal companies, financial advisors and will-writing services to provide complete property services.

“We hope customers, especially our buy-to-let investors, will see a real return on investment having access to both sales and lettings from us within Newport.

“One element we have been impressed with regarding Newport is the local authority which is engaged in bringing the centre back into use. We manage key properties in the area and assist clients in development so this is welcomed and positive to see.

“Of course, there is still a long way to go but good progress has been made.”

Speaking of the more longer-term plans for the business, Mr Haig said: “The lettings arm which has launched in Newport this month will be known as James Douglas Lettings.

“We are phasing out the Nuttall Parker name with the sales arm being known as Nuttall Parker | James Douglas in 2024. Next year, we will retire the Nuttall Parker name and be known as James Douglas to align with our branches throughout south Wales.

Further rubber-stamping its footprint in Newport, James Douglas has recently acquired a small competitor, Gwent Home Rentals.

Mr Haig said: “One of our main strategies is growth by acquisition. Since the purchase of Nuttall Parker in 2021 we have developed a strong foothold in the area. The acquisition of Gwent Home Rentals added more rental properties to our portfolio which has allowed us to bring forward our planned introduction of James Douglas Lettings into Newport.”

Speaking of the current market, Mr Haig said: “The market has changed since the increase in interest rates. Properties are still selling and it is still an active market.

However, vendors need to be more mindful of the fact property prices have been affected by the rise in interest rates and energy costs.

“Now more than ever it is important to be more strategic with anticipated selling prices and asking prices, allowing a bit of a contingency with asking price to achieve a good selling figure. People are being savvy with not only what they’re paying for properties but also taking into account the increase in energy costs.

“Newport is attracting investment, seeing regeneration, new homes being built; this is all positive. Buyers will also be encouraged by the changes in interest rates, albeit they are small, they are a step in the right direction.”