Diary of an estate agent: Berkshire

There's some encourging news following the Brexit vote and foreign investment starts to spread out from the cpaital...

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The week starts promisingly with a call from a buyer we last heard from on June 24, the morning of the EU referendum result, when he pulled out of the purchase of a large country house in one of the best roads in the area.

Back then, he was somewhat freaked out by the surprise Brexit result and didn’t want to go through with the purchase. Now though, he is resubmitting the exact same offer on the house, saying that he might have made a mistake, and life moves on. 

It’s really encouraging to see confidence returning to the market. 

In another very satisfying turn of events, we exchange on one of our longest-running sales. We have been marketing a mixed-use building in the heart of Sunningdale, with offices at street level and homes above, for many months.

A local businessman who manufactures sports kit has decided to take on the premises and convert the space fully into offices for his expanding empire. 

However, the deal has not been without its last-minute dramas. 

On the day of the sale another buyer swooped in, attempting to gazump the businessman but our client stood firm and refused to accept the higher offer, much to our relief. 

Early autumn is a hugely busy time for the new-build property market, with the majority of developers choosing to wait until the summer lull is over before launching their projects. At Strutt & Parker’s Sunningdale branch, we are a specialised new homes and land office, so it’s an exciting time of year. 

This morning we have a strategy meeting with ultra high-end developer Halebourne Group about the forthcoming launch for The Ridge, a prestigious development of 10 super-size mansion apartments just a stone’s throw from exclusive Sunningdale Golf Club. 

The scheme is very nearly complete and we will be hosting a champagne reception for prospective buyers on September 10. With prices starting from £2 million, the specification at The Ridge is truly exceptional, including a concierge, cinema rooms to two of the flats and stunning roof terraces. 

We are registering interest from the international set and downsizers with larger budgets who are looking for somewhere they can lock up and leave. 

I am visiting Sandringham Gate this afternoon, a collection of eight detached family houses by Shanly Homes, just minutes from buzzing Ascot High Street.

We are gearing up for the launch of the second phase in a couple of weeks’ time, when we will be opening the doors of Plot 5, Arlington House, to the public. It will be dressed by an interior designer and the garden will be fully landscaped. 

We already have a handful of people who are keen on this plot so we are hoping for some good offers.

Today I have the pleasure of showing a Chinese buying agent around a number of our new development schemes. 

He is only interested in looking at luxury new build — definitely nothing “second hand” — and his clients are buying purely for investment, whether that be small flats to rent out or larger family homes.

It’s really interesting to see foreign investment spreading out from the capital into some of the most affluent corners of Berkshire.

  • Tony Walker is an associate at Strutt & Parker in Sunningdale, Berkshire (01344 623411).

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