After a slump in residential transactions in 2017, could new official figures indicate the start of the pendulum swinging back in the other direction in 2018?

Award-winning estate and letting agent, Debbie Fortune , trading as Debbie Fortune Estate Agents, with three independent offices covering the sale and rental of property in North Somerset, the Yeo Valley, the Wrington Vale, the Chew Valley, Somerset and The Mendips, reviews the property market in 2017 , where the south-west saw property prices rise by over 7%, and looks forward to 2018.

She comments, “The most recent numbers from the Land Registry, released as part of its December House Price Index, show that the number of property transactions completed in the UK decreased by 8.5% year on year in October 2017 to 83,740.

“Transactions in English regions had been sliding in the previous months, with Yorkshire the only one to see a rise in October, albeit up just 1% to 6,633. London saw the biggest fall in volumes, down 22% to 6,264. Sales in Scotland were also up annually in October by 3.9% to 8,831, while England saw a 10.2% drop to 63,603. Transactions in Wales were down 3.8% to 3,805, while Northern Ireland saw an 8.8% drop to 5,501.’

“Despite the fact that transactions continued to fall across the majority of the country towards the end of the autumn, Debbie Fortune, like many of her professional colleagues can now see reasons to be cheerful.”

She adds: “The rather unexpected and buoyant end to 2017, rather like the mini-boom we experienced in 2010, following the earlier property crash, has laid the groundwork for a brisk start to 2018.’

“There are two things that have probably helped this, one is December’s subtle improvement in sentiment around Britain’s economic prospects and GDP and the second is the speculation that this improvement will encourage interest rate rises and end the era of cheap finance sooner than expected.’

“Combined together , these forces have prompted a number of would-be buyers to get off the fence and commit to moving in 2018 and we have seen a large increase in new buyers contacting us, particularly those moving out of Bristol into the country area south of Bristol, looking for good schools and a more rural setting to bring up their family.’

“As a result, the market dynamics are shifting. Whereas in 2017 constrained demand allowed the limited number of buyers to make all the running, this year the pendulum appears to be swinging back to create a more balanced market, and in 2018 the most important aspect in selling your home will be pricing it sensibly and choosing the right agent.

“That's where you need the experts, who have the experience to provide you, the seller, with all the information and relevant advice so that your home hits the market just right, is marketed in an appropriate way and sells at the best possible price and within your desired timescale.

“There really is no substitute for knowledge,” she says; “and that’s where I am confident that the teams at our three country offices, with their combined decades of experience, represent the best agency standards in the country area south of Bristol.”

Debbie concludes: “So, bearing in mind that the Index shows annual price growth improved in December, we have every reason to be optimistic about 2018, and, as the typical UK property price in December 2017 was reported at £226,756, whilst the South West showed an average property price of £254,081, on balance, we are doing very well in our patch. The only area in the UK that has done better than this is Scotland where a rise of 7.7% to £148,783 was reported in December. London registered the slowest annual growth for 2017, at 2.5% to £484,173 and I believe this to be an adjustment to the meteoric price rises of recent years and the dearth of foreign buyers and buy to let investors.”

Debbie Fortune Estate Agents are a multi-award winning company, handling the sale and rental of property in the Chew Valley, the Yeo Valley, North Somerset, Somerset and The Mendips.


Contact our excellent lettings department personnel, Lisa or Kathryn and get yourselves up to speed with the latest regulations on renting your property...



Anna Honeyfield, who is a sales negotiator in our Chew Magna branch, received a welcome telephone call from The Guild of Property Professionals last week. Anna was delighted to hear that she was to receive a £200 gift voucher won for her referrals of clients to our partner agents, across The Guild’s network.

The benefit of marketing your property with a Guild agent is that you can be assured your property will reach more prospective purchasers through the additional advertising offered through the 800 Guild-member offices involved, including the National Property Centre in Mayfair, London. Our property professionals are motivated to deliver the best result possible for our clients, and Anna’s fantastic results are clearly appreciated by the Guild.

Anna says, “I was surprised and delighted to receive the £200 voucher, I just need to hide it from the children so I can spend it on myself!”

If you need help in selling your property, then why not get in touch with Debbie Fortune Estate Agents with offices covering the whole of the North Somerset area including Wrington Vale, Yeo Vale, as well as the Chew Valley.


A lovely couple called into our lettings department at Backwell, to pick up their keys for their new property they are renting from us in Banwell, and were due to move in on Friday. They received their keys and a goodie bag, including a bottle of something to toast their new home with, from Kathryn.


George Worle is 21 and is a senior negotiator at Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in Chew Magna. George tells his story...

“I was 17, in my first year of A-levels at Chew Valley School. All my friends were applying to university as a logical next step in their further education, but I had no interest in burying my head in a book for three years, getting into debt and still having no guarantee of a job at the end of it all. Like many 17-year-old lads, friends, socialising and sport were my main interests and I was, again like many lads at this age, very strong-willed. So I decided to bite the bullet and tell my parents that I didn’t want to go to Uni, and after they’d got over the shock they gave me an ultimatum... go to university... or go out and get a job! So my mind was made up... and the real world beckoned.”

Debbie Fortune, Managing Director of Debbie Fortune Estate Agents, takes up the story: “I knew George’s grandfather well, he was a well-respected architect in the Chew Valley and a valued client over many years.

“He came to see me and told me about his grandson George, who would be looking for a job when he finished his A-levels the following year, and who quite fancied the idea of becoming an estate agent! I was not in a position to offer a trainee position, but as a favour, I agreed to see George.

“I have to admit I didn’t expect to be impressed. The last time I’d met George was when I was selling his parents house some 10 years earlier... he was seven years old at the time and particularly obnoxious!

“So when George came to see me as a smartly presented suited and booted young man, bursting with enthusiasm and with a winning smile, I was pleasantly surprised... but I still couldn’t offer him a job.

“So for the next year, he pestered me and pestered me until I finally cracked under the pressure and relented!

“The deal was this, if he was prepared to work and train as an apprentice under a National Apprenticeship, he might be able to join us at the end of his training. He was delighted and in September 2014, George Worle joined us at the Wrington office.

“George learnt quickly and a few weeks or so later, we allowed him out on his first viewing... on a little house in Yatton, on the market at £135,000.

“Imagine our delight when he came back with an offer of £132,000. His first sale was in the bag and there was no stopping him.

“As George’s career has progressed, his abilities have grown apace, and this week, just four years after he joined us he took an offer on a property at £1.15 million!’ says Debbie, ‘ I could not be more proud of him and wish him every success in his career with us”.

George concludes with these words of wisdom: “I would suggest anyone in my position consider an apprenticeship if they can find an employer like Debbie who is prepared to invest time and resources in their training. I feel I have a bright and secure future with Debbie Fortune Estate Agents and I particularly want to thank Jo Tiley, Director in charge of our Chew Magna office who has been fundamental in my progress to date with the company.”


We have once again broken records in our fundraising and community support during 2017, and estimate that our total will be close to, if not over, £20,000 for the year, smashing previous records.

Debbie says: “I could not be happier, our fundraising and community support has grown year on year, from the smallest of beginnings in 2009, where the first worthy cause we supported was the Wrington Dickensian Fayre, raising money for Wrington Minibus, to this year, where we have donated, supported and raised money in over 20 villages, and for over 50 different organisations including schools, sports teams, fund-raising events and village fetes. We’ve also awarded over 20 Amazon Fire Tablets and iPads as prizes during the year! I can’t quite believe it’s grown so much.

“My personal favourites this year”, she added, “have been our Children In Need day where our three offices raised an amazing £1,400, the Chew Valley 10k, the North Somerset Show, the Trendlewood Festival and the Mendip Classic. Each of these events raises money for the local community as well as supporting national charity appeals, including Cancer Support and Research and Neo-Natal Baby Care... so we try to help in as many different ways as we can”

We have now raised a staggering £94,000 since 2009.


Another successful buyer with Debbie Fortune Estate Agents is congratulated by the manager of our Backwell office, Joseph Down when he came in to pick up the keys to their new home. Why not contact us to see if we can find YOU a new home, 01275 406880.


A long-standing employee of Debbie Fortune Estate Agents, negotiator Julie Green, was surprised and elated to receive the honour of Employee of the Year for 2017. She is pictured receiving a glass trophy presented by Debbie, together with other gifts to celebrate the award.


A tenant of ours has just sent back a glowing feedback form, notable for the answer to the question: "How can we improve our service?"

The answer given was "Get more Lisa's & Kathryn's!"

If you would like our dynamic duo to give you their opinion on your property give either Lisa or Katherine a call on 01275 406870.