Diary of an estate agent: Fitzrovia

Business is booming as buyers are keen to get their foot on the property ladder before the General Election...

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Monday

Turkish buyers, Dubai-based buyers and Americans — there is such a mix to start the week, and I’m hoping the enquiries from the weekend are good. Just after the snap general election was called for June 8, enquiries dropped off. However, the last three weeks have been much better.

I am out with a client from Gibraltar today. He is looking to invest in the UK and wants to exchange before the election, so I arrange a tour of a few places for him to see on Wednesday when he is back in town.

Tuesday

With a full diary, I grab some lunch on the run before meeting an American family. When we get talking it turns out the husband lived here for several years during the Nineties.

Now they’re based in the US but he loved London so much that he and his family now want to buy a small place here. 

They’re pleasantly surprised at how the area has developed since then, with an influx of luxury restaurants, boutique shops and high-end apartments.

We view four places but it’s the last one they seem keenest on — a two-bedroom duplex in Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia. They’ll get back to me.

Wednesday

My buyer from Gibraltar who wants to close a deal by early next month comes to view a one-bedroom flat with a roof terrace in Floral Street, Covent Garden before we head off to see two more places, in Dean Street and Fitzrovia.

He has an analytical eye and is very keen to know the expected yield on each property, which he says he will enter into his spreadsheet when he gets on the plane home. 

I’m off for a bite to eat tonight as it’s my birthday. My parents are treating me to dinner at L’Etoile a few doors up from our Charlotte Street office. T

his French restaurant has been around for years and my colleague Jonathan says they do a terrific Beef Wellington. L’Etoile used to be run by Elena who worked there up into her late eighties.

She would greet people at the door and welcome them as if she remembered every one, although we’re not convinced she did… 

Thursday

First up today, I’m meeting an investor at the Riding House Café in W1. He is looking to buy a building with planning permission for four units or more for an overseas fund he represents.

My colleague Simon agreed a similar sort of deal two weeks ago. It seems buyers are happy to invest excess money in the safe environment of the London property market. My investor also has some flats to rent out in Soho, so I will pass this on to our lettings team.

I have an offer, but a low one, from my Gibraltarian spreadsheet owner. After further discussion I get him up to what I believe is a good price, a little below what the vendor wants.

My colleague Simon speaks with the owner and he promises to have another think about his bottom line. The property has been on the market for a few months now and if this is the highest offer, it’s a good indicator of what we can expect.

Friday

My Americans are back for a second viewing of the last flat I showed them on Tuesday, before they head back to the US. They spend some time looking at the space to see if they could make it work for them.

They love the location and the overall size, so it’s very promising. They won’t offer this week and it seems my other seller also wants the weekend to think over the offer received yesterday. None of this is untypical in the current market.

  • Matthew St John is a sales consultant at Hudsons in Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1 (020 7631 8701).

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