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Berkeley Shaw appoints new Head of Residential Sales

Leading Merseyside estate agent, Berkeley Shaw, have appointed Karen Parks as Head of Residential Sales.

Karen has a wealth of experience in property sales having worked in North Sefton for more than two decades, having previously worked for Michael Moon, Entwistle Green and Wainwright Edwards before opening her own agency in Formby.

In her new role, Karen will undertake all valuations in Hightown, Formby, Ainsdale and Southport as well as oversee the running of Berkeley Shaw’s Formby branch.

Speaking about the appointment she said: “I’m really looking forward to getting started with Berkeley Shaw. The company has built an effective business model over the many years they have been in operation, with an outstanding reputation for delivering for their clients.”

Berkeley Shaw managing director John Baybut said: “We are thrilled to have Karen join our team to lead our residential sales. Together we have developed a market leading plan which will make Berkeley Shaw the leading agent in the area. Karen’s expertise and contacts within the area are going to be a significant asset to us.”

The appointment follows a series of announcements from the company as Berkeley Shaw aims to expand their reach across the region including a recent merger with Keppie Massie Residential.

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Estate agent shares what it’s like to live in Merseyside’s ‘poshest’ village

Village’s “secret” beach is among the appealing features of living there

An estate agent and chartered surveyor from Merseyside has revealed what it’s like to live in Merseyside’s “poshest” village.

Hightown was recently named one the poshest villages in the UK in a report by Savills Estate Agents and the Telegraph, with the village coming in the top 54.

We spoke to the managing director of Berkeley Shaw estate agents, an award-winning Merseyside-based firm, with the managing director himself living in the quiet village north of Liverpool.

Hightown, found between two of the most sought-after areas in Merseyside, Formby and Blundellsands, is an exclusive area in its own right.

With just 1,000 homes in the village and no developments seeming to be on the horizon, the wait for properties to appear on the market seems staggering.

John Baybut said that people find the sense of escape the village offers a key selling point.

Speaking to the ECHO, John said: “My initial reaction was that some people will really like that label [of poshness] and some people will really dislike it but I can see where Savills are coming from and I can see where the Telegraph [who wrote the original list] is coming from.

“The cynic in me says it’s a PR exercise (from an Estate Agent such as Savills) who want to sell more properties in Hightown but on the other side it has all the attributes to be one of the most sought after villages in Merseyside because it has everything you need in a locality and where you want to live.

“The only thing it’s missing is a school which would really drive values up. Other than that it’s got effectively a secret beach, it’s got your cricket clubs, rugby clubs, tennis clubs, your bowling clubs, a nice pub, the station is there. It’s in between Blundellsands and Formby, two of the better-known areas of Merseyside, or certainly the higher value and higher-brow areas and just sits on its own between the two.

“It’s almost like a secret village, not a lot of people know about it.

If you go on holiday nobody has heard of Hightown, most people ask ‘do you mean Huyton?’. The people who do know it’s in between Formby and Crosby say ‘it’s only one road in and one road out’ but that’s what a lot of people like there, it’s out of the way.

“The only reason you’re going down that road is to visit Hightown, you’re not passing through.”

According to Rightmove, Hightown has the highest average house price in the last year, outpricing Formby, Crosby and Liverpool, despite the £1 million mark yet to be reached in the village.

Hightown has an average house price of £372,000 compared to Formby’s £360,000, Crosby’s £291,000 and Liverpool’s £205,000 average price.

John said: “I think that semi-rural location as you come off the A565 on the way to Formby from Liverpool you’re out in the countryside momentarily since you’ve got a mile or so from the main road.

“You’re surrounded by countryside and fields then suddenly you get this little village which is lovely with roads like St George’s Road, Elmcroft Lane, Sandy Lane and there’s also Blundell Road as well.

“Those roads were part of Old Hightown and then they’ve added on significantly in the 70s and 80s. There are a thousand houses in Hightown now so there’s not a lot of people there.

“The other thing is the sailing club. There are not a lot of sailing clubs in Merseyside. It’s all to do with coming off the main road into the countryside, the rural feel and you could be anywhere.

“I remember when I bought my first house there as an adult, I did grow up there but after university and a stint in Crosby, my neighbour said ‘I love coming home from work and as I drive past The Pheasant my shoulders drop and I relax because I’m out of the hustle and bustle of Liverpool city centre’. That always stuck in my mind and I’m sure other people think that as well.”


Photo courtesy of Brian Quinn

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Leading estate agent warns of nightmare stories from sellers who list homes through online retailers

Berkeley Shaw managing director John Baybut has warned of the nightmares faced when opting to use online estate agents.


The leading Merseyside estate agent explained that sellers have been forced to move from online retailers to the high street due to such poor service.


Berkeley Shaw have been operating within the region for over 30 years, with offices located in Crosby, Formby and Liverpool city centre. 

The company also recently acquired Keppie Massie Residential to further expand their portfolio within the city.

Mr Baybut said: “Increasingly we are seeing disappointed sellers who are coming through our doors with nightmare stories of really poor service from online-only estate agents.  

“Sellers are lured into the online-only estate agents by the low fees but what they get in return is a detached service from agents who are uncontactable when they are needed most.

“These horror stories are a recurring theme when it comes to selling most people’s biggest asset, experienced staff and local knowledge are absolutely paramount to ensuring the best possible results.

“We have a track record of adding value and securing the highest price for our clients and we do so as a result of our knowledge and understanding of the area in which we operate.”

The Financial Times reported that total properties sold in 2021 reached 1.5 million, more than in any year since 2007.

During this boom, the limitations of online estate agents are potentially highlighted by the fall in share value of the UK’s biggest online agent Purple Bricks, which has fallen 93% since 2017. 

During the same period, Berkeley Shaw has grown by 10 times revenue and opened 3 additional offices.

Berkeley Shaw recently completed a listing on Victoria Road, Formby, with a record 8 day turnaround from viewing to completion.

Mr Baybut added: “Our ability to complete sales in record time are down to a whole multitude of factors including our network of contacts in legal and surveying meaning we can make transactions in rapid time.

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Berkeley Shaw sells out £2million Crosby development Merchants Court

Berkeley Shaw have sold out all 12 luxury apartments at the Merchants Court development in Crosby, on behalf of Accelerate Property Developments.
The long-established property specialists announced that all 12 properties were sold to a mixture of owner occupiers and buy-to-let investors.
KM Real Estate, a subsidiary of Berkeley Shaw, will manage the property once all residents have moved in, scheduled before the end of this year.
The development comprises 12 one and two-bedroom luxury properties, carefully constructed to convert the original Victorian building with a newly-built extension.
The expansion sensitively complements the area by providing luxury communal gardens as well as state of the art resident facilities including a communal gymnasium, storage facilities and private off-road parking.
Berkeley Shaw managing director, John Baybut, said:
“We’re delighted to announce the sale of all properties at the Merchants Court development, this is a fantastic project which has attracted significant attention ever since we brought it to market.
“Thomas and the rest of the team at Accelerate Property Developments have an excellent track record when it comes to the delivery of residential property developments, we’re proud to support them with this.”