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Town Hall piles the pressure on estate agents by offering to sell homes for a flat fee of £899

ROSS CLARK Daily Mail
New venture: Neath Port Talbot, home to the first council-run estate agent

New venture: Neath Port Talbot, home to the first council-run estate agent


In common with councils across the country, Neath Port Talbot is feeling the pinch. It is cutting 750 jobs and slashing the wages of the remaining 7,000 employees. Schools, bus services and social care services all face cuts. But it is also expanding into an area where no local authority has ventured before: estate agency.



Property Bay Wales, owned by Neath Port Talbot Council, is offering to sell homes for a flat fee of £899 plus VAT – payable only if the property is actually sold. 

It is a spin-off of NPT Home Inspection Services, which was set up by the council to compile Home Information Packs. Now these have been abolished, the firm continues to offer the still-compulsory Energy Performance Certificates.

The new venture, according to MD Steve Kidwell, aims to introduce into estate agency ‘the core principles of local authority – a truly customer-centred approach and value for money’.


While Property Bay Wales promises that profits will support local services, there is an alternative outcome: that, in common with many other estate agencies since the start of the slump, it makes a thumping loss and has to close.

It is a limited company, so taxpayers are protected from heavy losses, but there are start-up costs. ‘I wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly how much, but they are very low,’ says Kidwell.





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