Nesbits News

50 years service!



My ex-naval father having made the introduction on my behalf, I joined the firm in February 1973, at the princely salary of £7 per week.

I found my duties taking a rapid and unexpected trajectory, the “office junior” taking on the responsibility for handling the firm’s lettings and residential sales activities following the departure of long-standing employees within just months of my arrival.

Happily, my juggling of house sales with the preparation of inventories and the like ended after a few years, leaving me to focus solely on all things property related.

My well-thumbed personal archive, recording each and every property transaction over the past half a century, reminds me of my very first house sale – a three-bedroom home in Claydon Avenue (still Milton at that time) sold for £9,750.

As a sharp illustration of brick-and-mortar inflation (and the value of property as an investment), the same archive shows a two-bedroom Seafront flat (St Martins House, Clarence Parade) having been sold in 1974 for £14,000, going on to be sold by me again some 46 years later for a twenty-fold uplift.

1000s of transactions over 50 years have included many and varied highlights, Southsea Seafront providing particularly fertile territory, a walk along Eastern Parade allowing me to identify around half its housing stock as having gone through my hands at some time.


I am often asked how the world of property has changed over half a century.  “Much and little” is the answer.  The advent, and subsequent dramatic expansion, of the internet has brought about a transformation in the way property is marketed and sold, but, and to oft-voiced frustration, the essential workings of the buying/selling system remains little altered.

I readily confess to offering younger listeners (nearly everyone!) the benefit of my opinion that “this job was a lot more straightforward back in the day”.  A somewhat rose-tinted perspective I am sure, but with a strong element of truth.  Certainly bureaucracy, in its many manifestations, held less of a grip than is the case today.

I regret never acting positively on those many occasions when I would say that I should keep a diary of my interactions with the public.  Had I done so I would have a record of those many incidents that the job has thrown up, most now lost to a rather unreliable memory (not, let me assure current clients, age-related).

One event is recalled, and this after a gap of 40-odd years:  I can still see the look on the face, and the utter dismay in the voice, of the buyer who, having minutes before collected the keys to his investment purchase from my office, returned in a whirl of anger to inform me that “they (the sellers) have stolen my doorknobs!”


As to the future?  I continue to immensely enjoy the work I do, my enthusiasm for the Portsmouth property scene being undimmed. With sufficient evidence of appreciation and respect from both the public and fellow professionals, I am happy to keep going.



Nesbit properties are on rightmove