Diary of an estate agent: Fitzrovia

Donald Trump's shock victory has Americans looking for a new home in Marylebone and the exchange rate draws in more international buyers...

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It feels like the market is picking up, which could be a sign of confidence in anticipation of the Autumn Statement. Last week was busy and this morning we have two separate offers to review.

The first is for an apartment in a nice red-brick portered mansion block not too far from our office in Fitzrovia. The couple making the offer are expecting their first child, so this three-bedroom property has everything they need for their foreseeable future. 

The second is from a buyer who saw a new-build flat in a cobbled mews three weeks ago. He discusses his offer with me and although it is a little lower than my seller’s expectation, I am confident we will get this one agreed with some negotiation.

He says he prefers buying in a slower market as there is more time to make an informed choice without the pressure of always thinking you might miss out. 

I am out viewing with some Americans today who are looking to rent a place in Marylebone close to the high street. They joke that after Trump’s success they are coming to live here.

Originally they were looking south of Hyde Park but I explain that Marylebone seems more in tune with their lifestyle — I am slightly biased as I live there myself — and, given my local knowledge, I can secure a lot more for their money. 

They are excited about the 20 per cent savings on the dollar and decide that they want to look at options to buy instead of renting. We view a range of two-bedroom apartments from £2 million to £3 million and I leave them to mull it over with a coffee and a bun at Nordic Bakery in Dorset Street.

The couple’s offer from Monday is rejected by the seller, so I leave it with them to return with a better one. However there’s some good news as the other offer from Monday is agreed after a small increase from the buyer. 

The Americans are back out viewing again today, they are  a real pleasure to be out with. We look at some more places and it’s clear that they like characterful, older-style Georgian properties with high ceilings. I am hopeful that I have just the one off Marylebone High Street. 

They love the local community feeling with the weekly farmers’ market and the branch of La Fromagerie in Moxon Street, and the viewing is a success.

We head off to Aubaine café bistro  to grab a coffee and discuss the various differences between buying in the UK versus the US.

Our buyers have come back with a counter offer on the red-brick mansion flat. It’s still lower than the seller is looking for, but they tell me it’s their final offer, so I go to discuss it with the vendor.

They are motivated to sell as they are buying something larger and they are keen to get an offer agreed. 

My colleague, Simon, takes a call from a Japanese couple today asking to revisit a penthouse flat they saw four months ago.

Originally they were put off by the stamp duty that would be payable but since then the exchange rate against the yen has improved significantly and it is now more affordable. 

It’s similar to our US buyers. Considerable discounts are being offered just by the exchange rate alone. Right now is the perfect climate for international buyers in central London where they can once again get a good deal.

The husband doesn’t speak English but his wife does and she says she must have the flat. It’s a very promising viewing.

Back in Fitzrovia, it’s great news as the mansion flat seller accepts our buyers’ offer. The delighted couple can’t wait to get the ball rolling. The purchase will probably complete in the new year, perfect timing for the arrival of their baby.

The seller is happy, the buyers are happy — a super way to end the week. 

Simon’s offer from our Japanese buyers on the penthouse needs to be higher and it is unlikely to get agreed today as they want the weekend to think about it. Who says the winter months are quiet?

  • Jonathan Hudson is director of Hudsons in Fitzrovia ( 020 7631 8702).

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