YORKSHIRE residential letting specialists Linley & Simpson has added more than 600 homes to its portfolio after another major acquisition following the unsolicited approach and subsequent purchase of the residential lettings and management division of Dacre, Son & Hartley, the 200-year-old fellow independent Yorkshire estate agent which operates a network of 20 branches.
The deal will now see Dacre, Son & Hartley strengthen its key focus on residential sales, as well as a raft of other property services including land and new homes, commercial agency and property management, its nationally-active healthcare investment business and agricultural division.
The deal, completed for an undisclosed sum, is the seventh struck by Leeds-headquartered Linley & Simpson since the outbreak of COVID-19.
It takes its rental portfolio to almost 12,000 properties across the 22 High Street branches it operates in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Its Chief Executive, Will Linley, said: “This represents an inch-perfect geographical and business fit.
“Our branches share the same footprint as those of Dacre, Son & Hartley, so this injection of properties will dovetail seamlessly into our network.”
He added: “At the end of a challenging year for the country, our confidence in the private rented sector for 2021 and beyond remains strong.
“Other acquisitions are being primed, enabling us to set up in new locations and scale up in existing ones at pace in the New Year.”
Patrick McCutcheon, Head of Residential at Dacre, Son & Hartley, said: “We have been at the forefront of the Yorkshire property market for many years and this will very much continue.
“Drawing upon the skills of our team of 145 people, we are now looking forward to expanding and investing further in our core strengths in residential sales. It will also enable us to further develop the potential of our other property services including our nationally renowned healthcare investment business
He added: “The residential letting sector is becoming increasingly specialised amid ever-growing regulatory and compliance changes. Transferring our rental portfolio to an agency with a dedicated letting specialism, like Linley & Simpson, is a natural step – and our former tenants and landlords will be in trusted hands.”
Dacre’s chairman, Vincent Phillips, said: “We have known Linley & Simpson for many years and have great respect for the market-leading specialist business they have built; so much so that we are even putting our own residential investments under their management.
“For Dacres, this is part of a process of greater focus on our main business areas. Lettings formed less than 10% of our turnover and was sub scale for us.
“As with our sale of our PMC financial services business last year, we feel we have found the best partner in the sector to take on that non-core part of the business.
“2020 is the 200th anniversary of the founding of Dacres, although we had to postpone our celebrations to 2021 due to Covid.
“The main Dacres business areas will now receive additional investment in IT and staff and franchisee recruitment to expand further.
“Our estate agency business has performed very well and it remains one of the strongest brands in Yorkshire, while our main commercial and healthcare property, agriculture and land and development businesses have all gone from strength to strength in the year.”
Founded by Will and fellow director Nick Simpson in Yorkshire in 1997, Linley & Simpson has grown from just two offices and a handful of staff to a network of 22 branches across Yorkshire and the Humber and a team of more than 260.
All the acquired properties will now be integrated into, and managed by, its local branches in Bingley, Chapel Allerton, Harrogate, Headingley, Horsforth, Ilkley, Pudsey, Ripon, Roundhay, Saltaire, Skipton, and Wetherby.
- Dacre, Son & Hartley was advised by a team from Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP lead by corporate partner Philip Ashworth and assisted by Nick Wilson (Employment) Marie Kell (Commercial) and Nicole Waldron (Commercial). Legal advice to Linley & Simpson was provided by Simon Morris, Head of Corporate at Harrogate solicitors Raworths.