London Evening Standard - Jonathan Hudson 'Diary of an Estate Agent', October 2018
MondayUnexpectedly warm weather for the time of year is boosting viewing numbers, with some buyers looking to be in new homes by Christmas. The forecast looks good so I am hoping it will be a busy week for us.
I’ve a meeting this morning with investors from Hong Kong who are keen on London and looking for development partners. I introduce them to a contact of mine who specialises in the Canada Water area.
We hop on the Tube and see what projects he has under way. Right next door to Surrey Quays, Canada Water offers a great price point of £600 per square foot to get on the housing ladder. Just one stop from Canary Wharf and seven stops to Bond Street, I can certainly see its attraction.
TuesdayAfter a breakfast meeting I reach the office to find all of my staff standing by the windows and peering out into the street, with one even loitering on our front doorstep.
I wonder what can have happened so early in Charlotte Street to cause such commotion. It turns out David Beckham has parked right outside our office to visit our neighbour, Ted’s Grooming Room, for a trim, along with film director Guy Ritchie, a local resident.
I try to usher everyone back to work but one colleague will not budge until they catch a glimpse.
WednesdayBuy-to-let investors are still out there. We have noticed an increase in activity, which had pretty much died since the additional three per cent stamp duty was introduced just over two years ago.
My colleague Simon heads over to a one-bedroom flat in King’s Cross with a prospective landlord, so fingers crossed.
I’m hosting a London Propertymark event this afternoon in Bloomsbury. This is for National Association of Estate Agents members to keep abreast of the latest changes to our industry.
Presentations from experts include one on new legislation and another on the long-awaited licensing of estate agents, which the association is advising on.
ThursdayI head out to meet a contact near Mornington Crescent who knows the owner of a block of 20 flats who is thinking of selling. The flats are set within an attractive warehouse building with original concrete staircases which has been totally remodelled inside.
The wealthy owner cannot decide what to do with the flats — short lets, long lets, sell piecemeal or as one. The penthouses have quality finishes and front and rear balconies. All of the many windows are fitted with electric blinds and the apartments are all fully furnished and ready to be lived in.
I am told the owner, unsure what to do with them, needs my advice.
They have been sitting empty for two years. This isn’t uncommon as I have visited many buildings over the years where the ground floor has been a shop, restaurant or club and the upper parts have become dilapidated and unlettable without investment.
Even so, to have this sitting here ready to go for all that time does seem like a crime to beautiful warehouse apartments.
FridayChorleywood’s my destination first thing. It’s an easy journey from my house, just 22 minutes on the train from Marylebone. I am showing 4,000sq ft of impressive office space in a converted bank with high vaulted ceilings to a Montessori school, which seems really keen.
The building’s owner is a client of mine and as it used to be rented by Sky Vision it has all the latest technology — ideal for the young ones to download the latest episode of Peppa Pig. I am pretty confident the school will make an offer as I shake hands with its representative.
Back in the office, I hear Simon has agreed the buy-to-let deal on the King’s Cross flat and the investor is looking for more places, so who said buy-to-let is dead? It’s a decent end to the week.
Maybe I’ll drop into Ted’s Grooming Room before the weekend begins — I’m not sure the whole street will be watching this time, though.