Diary of an estate agent: Fitzrovia

Celebrities continue to flock to the West End and students are getting organised in anticipation for September... 

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Monday 
A London black cab driver is selling his home of over 30 years through us, a really nice one-bedroom flat, and my colleague Matthew receives an offer on it today.

The cabbie has just retired and says he has seen many changes in his time working in the capital, especially over the last five years in Fitzrovia and the West End. Now he’s ready to move to the coast and enjoy retirement. 

Tuesday 
The girlfriend of a famous artist has bought a flat through us, and we complete today. My colleague agrees to meet at the property to hand over the keys and explain how to use the heating and main essentials.

The artist, the buyer and a rather famous snooker player, known for his 147 breaks and speedy play, turn up to meet him.

It’s amazing who you meet along the way in the West End. Not so long ago we sold a penthouse flat to a household-name Scouse comic and a mansion flat to another well-known female comedian, both in Bloomsbury. 

This area has often seemed to attract light entertainment stars over the years and we are currently selling two flats in Lancaster Court, close to Charlotte Street, where Sir David Jason and the late Hughie Green once had homes. 

Wednesday 
I’m trying to arrange a catch-up with an old client. The local area is so heavy on apartments but he has one of the few houses around here.

We’ve been meaning to meet up over a glass of wine now that he’s back from the Cannes Film Festival, but he says he wants to go for coffee instead, so I’m guessing it was a big week with the stars. 

Back in the office, another offer comes in on a mansion flat in Bloomsbury, near Bedford Square. It’s quite close to asking price and my colleague Simon is hopeful of tying this one up.

The buyer’s from Singapore and she has been looking for a while. She’s struck up a great working relationship with him, which is sometimes not so easy when working with people from different cultures, so I’m feeling positive about this one.

Thursday
After a mixed week it’s time to make sure I’ve contacted all our sellers and given them a market update. On these calls we go through the online stats to see how many people are looking at their property, before making recommendations depending on the information at hand.

Ironically, now is a great time to buy, with prices below the peak of 2014. Buyers have time to make an informed decision after two or three viewings, rather than having to make their mind up on the spot, and they don’t have such a high risk of being gazumped at any stage of the transaction, which can happen in a busier sales market. 

Friday 
I have another viewing at a recently dressed penthouse in a new development by Artisan in Goodge Street. We have already sold two of the three penthouses available, and this was the only one that didn’t have furniture.

Since they’ve dressed it, interest and viewings have been much stronger and we have witnessed potential buyers looking from Ireland, Russia, Holland, the US, China, Hong Kong, Australia and Kazakhstan — quite the mix.

It just goes to show that a luxury property like this really needs a strong interior design scheme to demonstrate the lifestyle that buyers can expect and we are hopeful with some second viewings today. 

Based in Charlotte Street, we’re near some top universities and colleges, such as UCL, LSE, London Business School and London School of Fashion, which means we have high levels of interests from parents and students looking to secure an address in the West End.

The lettings team has been buzzing around all week, mostly with organised students who have started their search early for next term, instead of waiting until they return in September and choices are limited. 

The market has made a good recovery with lots for the team to look forward to next week. Maybe I can persuade a few of them to join me for a quick drink locally — I’m buying.

  • Jonathan Hudson is the director of Hudsons in Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1 (020 7323 2277).


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