© Merrily Harpur (harpur.org)
A weekend at home with the family — great. What a joy following the final dash of finalising accounts for our financial year end and setting targets for the next one. The future looks good now the election has settled the score: the markets will calm down and buyers will be able to move on.
It is our appointed day to launch a spectacular £14 million lateral house in what is regarded as Knightsbridge's best address. From my office on Sloane Street we sell and let some of the best houses and flats in the capital. We get an exchange on a house in Belgravia at £6.8 million to a buyer who has been in the papers a lot recently but who we aren't allowed to name. The pain of daily commute to and from the Essex coast is made all the more worthwhile by these colourful customers.
We exchange on a two-bed maisonette in Eaton Place with 340 days left on the lease sold for over £250,000. The client is delighted that we have arranged for him to be able to stay until day 339 before he has to finally leave. The team agrees a sale of a mews house at £4 million and a flat at £6.75 million.
"High net worth" international and UK buyers will always have a love affair with the properties this wonderful small pocket of London has to offer, whatever the political situation. The recent Times Rich List highlighted just how much wealth has been generated over the last 12 months against a desperate global economic background. A weakened pound gives foreign buyers an added advantage at present.
Early morning sales meeting, and the sun is out. We have two viewings booked on another new house at £15 million, one with a Sheik and the other an "eastern bloc" oligarch. Just heard there has been competitive bidding with five buyers on a house at £23 million. Received a cash offer in the late afternoon from the Sheik's banker but it is way off the mark, then off to an architects' drinks event in the evening before finally hitting the sack.
I have a tour of five of our houses between £5.5 million and £7.5 million with an Italian/Australian trader. He prefers houses to lateral flats as they give him the privacy from his teenage daughters - he needs to avoid their recent punk obsession. The Sheik increases his offer but it's still too little.
Fortunately, towards the close of play, two of our negotiators have more success with three sales. Hope this coalition will give us all the best bits of the individual parties' policies and bring us a stable and capable government.
Commute home in time to go out for supper with our mates. Looking forward to a peaceful weekend with my wife and daughters - hope my girls won't want to be punks when they become teenagers... but you never know.
Charlie Willis works at Strutt & Parker, in Knightsbridge (020 7235 9959).