Richardson & Wrench, which was founded in 1858, has opened its first residential real estate office in the Brisbane CBD, continuing an expansion push that has seen the company open eight new offices in NSW since mid-2010.
R&W executive director Andrew Cocks said the decision by R&W Brisbane to enter the residential market after 25 years as a specialist commercial/industrial sales and leasing agency was a vote of confidence in the long-term prospects of the Queensland capital.
“Our company history in Brisbane goes back to the early years of Richardson & Wrench but more recently we have been a major force in the commercial development of the city,” Mr Cocks said.
The move also marks the start of a concerted push by the 150 year-old company to build its presence in Queensland.
“We have some very strong offices in Queensland, however there are some locations where we are not represented and ought to be,” Said Mr Cocks.
“The Gold Coast is an obvious target for us given our strength in other coastal lifestyle regions such as the Sunshine Coast, where we have offices in Noosa and Caloundra and also Bribie Island and Hervey Bay.”
The new Brisbane office will provide sales and property management services in the Brisbane CBD, Spring Hill and Fortitude Valley, and will be run by 25-year industry veteran, Paul Nugent.
Director Ann Nugent said the decision to expand into residential real estate had been taken after many years of waiting for the right opportunity.
“It was always our intention to diversify and take advantage of the fact that many of our commercial clients also hold residential property,” said Mrs Nugent.
“We’ve been based at Spring Hill for several years handling commercial and industrial properties across Brisbane but with a focus on the inner-city suburbs. So we know the territory well and can see the huge opportunities that exist in the residential sector.
“The inner-city is one of the most dynamic residential markets in Australia despite taking a hit following the floods last year. There is a lot of new apartment development, a strong rental market due to its proximity to the CBD, hospital and university, and the renaissance of the CBD is encouraging more people to live within the city limits.
The R&W sales team will be headed by Gary Hassett, while residential property management will be led by Ellen Watson who has worked in commercial leasing with R&W Brisbane for the past two years.