Half-term is over and the market starts to turn over again. Lettings are strong, especially with students sorting out their accommodation before the next tuition year.
I receive a great email request today to visit what sounds like a truly hidden gem in Covent Garden. The owner bought it a few years ago and they are heading back to the US.
The living room has a wonderful painted ceiling — very intriguing. Character and uniqueness often sell at a premium, so I arrange to visit on Wednesday.
We’ve had a little bit of a run on house sales recently, which is quite unusual in the West End as many of the larger homes have been split into flats.
In Fitzrovia, we have a lovely 3,000sq ft house for sale with a beautiful Georgian frontage and architectural features maximising light and air flow. In the basement there is a spiral floor cellar full of great wines with an electrically operated glass roof.
The seller has moved his family out of town and agreed to put the place on the market at a sensible price which has activated a whole string of buyers, some of whom have not been viewing for a few years, as properties of this size are rarely available.
We organise a viewing morning to get everyone in and the feedback from four out of the five viewers is really positive.
An old client calls me today. He rings me every two to three years to see what his investment is worth, as he has moved out further West for more family space.
This time he is thinking of selling his two-bedroom mansion flat investment in W1 and buying a family place down near Exeter for something to use during the holidays and at weekends. I’ve always persuaded him to keep it and rent it out but maybe this time the heart may rule the head.
Off to the Covent Garden flat now. It commands the three upper floors of a building close to the Coliseum and it does indeed have the most remarkable living room ceiling, with ornate coving and 10 separate paintings.
The owner has refurbished the place really nicely but as they are returning to America we talk about price and how this has been a good family home for them, only eight minutes away from the river.
Three buyers come back to us after the Fitzrovia house viewing, one of whom is bringing his wife over from Rome to see it. Another wants to bring his family back today and the third buyer, a German composer, arranges to see it again early next week.
We have a celebrity viewer today at one of our penthouses. He and his wife seem very interested but the flat isn’t finished yet and it’s impossible to go on site.
He wants to know what the views will be, so my colleague and I decide to send up a drone to take pictures at the height the penthouse will occupy. I call architects Llewelyn Davies, who specialise in this.
The family viewing at the Fitzrovia house goes well and they make an initial offer, but I’m certain we can achieve more if we are patient.
I’m off to an early viewing at Kent Terrace in Regent’s Park, as I live nearby. The buyer, a client who’s able to purchase without selling, is looking for something bigger as she’s about to start a family.
The houses around the park really are lovely and this one is arranged over five floors with a roof terrace and a good-sized garden. The viewing goes well and she is keen to get her husband to see the place.
I shoot across to Villandry restaurant in Great Portland Street for a meeting with another agent. We discuss the market and agree that while transaction numbers are down, there seems to be more spring activity.
Back at the office I tie up some loose ends, then I head off with some of the team to a champagne event at Loft Interiors near Fitzroy Square — the perfect end to the week.