The hot weather from the weekend continues and I’m greeted by a glorious day as I set off on my daily walk from home in Marylebone to our office in Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia. It is normally a 20-minute walk, but I like to take a slightly different route every day and see what is going on in different areas.
I love this part of the morning, it’s a chance to think about the day ahead. Currently on my mind is a local high street café. We’ve been asked to sell on the lease for a Turkish client.
I meet with a recruitment adviser in Farringdon this morning about targeting the best staff for our future growth. After my meeting, I take a call from a man about the potential sale of his freehold property in Soho, with a restaurant on the ground floor, office on the first and residential in the uppers. I suggest I meet him at his office in Lloyd’s of London near Bank, where my father used to work as an insurance broker.
A truly amazing building — I also see the underwriting room where the Lutine Bell is hung. This was salvaged from the first ship to be classed as a total loss at Lloyd’s and is now rung ceremonially when there are distinguished guests in the building and on Remembrance Day. I walk there — it’s often the easiest way to get around London.
We’ve found a buyer for the café, but the offer is quite a lot below the asking price — good job it’s not a Greek restaurant or there might be some plates being smashed when I deliver the news! I have a mint tea in the Charlotte Street Hotel over the road today with a lady in Bloomsbury who originally put her home on the market with us in 2008, for £725,000. The apartment is near Russell Square and we generated a lot of interest at the time but the family changed their minds and it was withdrawn. I kept in touch with her. Now they want us to market the property again — great news with properties in short supply.
With money so cheap to borrow, most buyers these days keep their existing property to rent out and then arrange finance to purchase another, leaving the normal properties that become available for resale out of circulation, which fuels further price rises.
It’s a bit cooler this morning and I’m in the gym at 6am. My first work meeting is with the Turkish café owner. After putting the low offer to him yesterday I’m hoping my cheery greeting today isn’t going to be met by an annoyed response! I am in luck — he is keen to move abroad and we manage to agree a figure that suits both parties. Now both sides are happy. This is what the job is all about!
The Bloomsbury apartment near Russell Square receives a lot of interest from our list of waiting buyers and my colleague Margaret manages to secure a great offer over £1.2 million, nearly half a million more than it was on the market for in 2008. The family are delighted. That’s a satisfying end to the week — and everything seems easier when the sun is shining.
Jonathan Hudson is the founder of Hudsons Property in Charlotte Street W1 (020 7323 2277).