AN INDEPENDENT York estate agency has strengthened its land and new homes team of specialists.

Linley & Simpson, in Low Ousegate, has appointed James Curtis-Bean as new homes sales consultant.

Launched five years ago with one member of staff and six properties, the department now employs eight specialists and has seen its new homes portfolio grow to more than 600 - with more than double that in the pipeline.

James has spent the past 12 years in Australia, where he delivered sales and marketing strategies for major property developers.

He previously worked in the automotive industry for brands such as Lotus and Proton, including a spell in Kuala Lumpur.

James said: “It’s great to be back home in Yorkshire, especially with so many developers returning to the marketplace and the new homes sector becoming more vibrant as a result. Yorkshire is brimming with no shortage of striking new homes coming to market and I’m looking forward to swapping the Gold Coast for the East Coast in helping them reach their potential.”

Director of Land and New Homes at Linley & Simpson, David Waddington, said: “We are delighted that James has transferred his skills 10,000 miles from Australia back to his home county, especially amid a New Year spike in buyer demand.

“He adds a fresh dimension and insight to the service we provide to a growing client base of landowners and developers, which is now supported by a network of 18 branches covering all corners of North and West Yorkshire.”