London Evening Standard - Jonathan Hudson 'Diary of an Estate Agent', February 2018
Our lettings team enjoyed a record-breaking January with a string of great results, and there’s real momentum as February gets under way.
Today I’m out with a colleague to value a two-bedroom apartment just off Oxford Street. The owners are over from Austria where they now live and the property has been passed through three generations of the same family since the early 1900s.
The two ladies that we meet certainly have a story or two to tell about how the area has changed during this time. The meeting goes well and we get the nod to proceed in four weeks’ time.
Off to a meeting first thing with David at Connaught Wines. We’re working with nearby businesses to offer exclusive incentives to our database of residents and promote good local retailers.
We agree a wine-tasting event at his Connaught Cellars, just by Connaught Square where Tony and Cherie Blair have a home.
I head into the office and there is some commotion around Joanne, our property manager. She’s just back from an inspection where the tenant asked the landlord if he could move in with his dog, and his request was denied.
The landlord suspects the tenant has gone ahead and moved Fido in anyway — cue Joanne to arrange an inspection to try to sniff out any evidence. However, all seems in order: no dog hair, no bowl, no lead. Hmm.
Site meeting first thing — when will I learn not to wear my best clothes for such things. It’s a small site of four flats up near Baker Street and work is coming along well. This will really intrigue my overseas buyer consultant when I see her later in the week.
The top-floor unit is split-level with a great west-facing roof terrace. And as someone who lives in the area, I know how good the transport links are.
I’m out with some architects this afternoon for a second viewing at two offices we previously shortlisted. At the last minute I receive news of a third option overlooking a Georgian Square in Bloomsbury. The existing tenant is keen to move out quickly and offer a preferred deal.
After reviewing the shortlist we head over to Bloomsbury and this new option blows my clients away. The views, the celling height and the character are just perfect.
They are very excited and we head to Gail’s in Bayley Street for a quick discussion over a coffee. Subject to the senior partner seeing it next week, it looks like a deal will be on.
A visit to a Sixties block in Regent’s Park east side, with underground parking, is first up today. It turns out we sold the owner’s father’s place in Fitzrovia a few years ago, so he recommended us.
My client is off to live in Asia to set up a new strand of the multibillion-pound entertainment company she works for. She is considering selling the apartment, but may let the apartment instead.
These flats are very popular and my colleague has been involved in the last three sales in the block, so I’m hopeful we will get the instruction.
On the way in today I spot a whole raft of horses and carriages and about 30 foot soldiers in all their regalia near Fitzroy Square. Turns out they’re filming a period drama. Where could be better than here with its amazing Georgian architecture?
Good news this morning — we’ve received an offer on a 3,000sq ft house in Fitzrovia. There are not many of these on the market, and although the offer is a bit below the asking price I am hopeful we can gain an increase to close the gap. Offers are taking a little time to tie together nowadays.
I have a lunch meeting at Kazu, the newest Japanese cuisine addition to Charlotte Street. I’m meeting my overseas buyer contact there and discussing the Baker Street development I saw earlier in the week.
Central London isn’t quite as attractive to overseas buyers right now as they are uncertain of the Brexit outcome, but when buyers sit on the fence, others see it as an opportunity.
Another week gone, the nights are drawing out and there is life in the central London housing market.