I am obviously biased, but I really do think that Marylebone is the best place to live in prime central London. There is such a village-like feel here and unlike Mayfair and Knightsbridge, residents actually spend weekends enjoying the atmosphere of the metropolitan high street with their family and friends.
I have worked in Carter Jonas’s Marylebone office for almost seven years and I have seen property prices simply soar in that time. Recent apartment sales have achieved in excess of £2,500 per square foot — we were achieving a good £1,000 when I first started out.
Everything and anything that we take on seems to get snapped up so ridiculously fast, often within a week of launch. Some properties don’t even make it to the market because there is just so much demand. Buyers are extremely competitive in Marylebone and as stock levels remain low, I am dealing with clients offering sizeable, non-refundable deposits to ensure they get the property they want and exchange within a week.
Today I meet a Yorkshire couple for lunch at The Providores restaurant in Marylebone High Street. They’re selling their family home through our Harrogate office and looking for a London pied-à-terre for weekends. I show them a lovely flat in Marylebone Exchange, a listed former telephone exchange owned by the Howard de Walden Estate. Carter Jonas sold this whole development about seven years ago.
The sun is shining and Marylebone is buzzing with shoppers in their Chanel sunglasses and fur gilets. I do love it that this district has not yet been overtaken by the global super-brands of Mount Street, and has clung to the independent businesses responsible for its famous charm.
La Fromagerie, a personal favourite, attracts cheese lovers from far and wide and Daunt Books, London’s most fêted independent bookshop, so easily occupies a full lunch hour.
I am looking forward to visiting a fabulous mews house this afternoon. Eighty per cent of Marylebone residences are apartments, so it’s a real treat to sell a mews.
Just last year we actually managed to achieve a then-record £1,600 per square foot for an unmodernised property in Marylebone Mews. The one I am seeing today has an exceptional reception space and an integrated garage, and is freehold.
We are receiving a huge amount of interest in a really super freehold townhouse in Wesley Street, just off Marylebone High Street. It has three bedrooms, a gym, plus a cinema and a heavenly roof terrace. It would make the most perfect family house. Any form of outside space is really very rare in Marylebone and we have clients from all over who are desperate to get their hands on any type of property which has some.
Notably, a lot of wealthy British buyers are drawn to Marylebone. I believe that about 70 per cent of residents supposedly have English as their mother tongue, and the rest are mainly European. The French seem to adore what the area offers, especially certain well-known chefs.
I spend the morning at Wandsworth Common with some new colleagues. Carter Jonas recently merged with Sullivan Thomas, an independent agency with three offices in Fulham and Wandsworth. My friends and I all moved to these areas after university and it’s incredible how this “outer prime” market has performed in the years that I’ve lived in London.
My new co-workers take me to see an absolutely stunning, interior-designed, five-bedroom family house on Brodrick Road which is on the market for the same price we are currently marketing a one- to two-bedroom flat for.
Celebrities are flocking around Marylebone High Street — which seems like a catwalk in itself during London Fashion Week. Young model of the moment Cara Delevingne swans past the office today — we would love to sell or let a place to her.
I pick up some steaks at The Ginger Pig butchers for dinner and enjoy a quick drink with the rest of the team at The Marylebone bar in the High Street to celebrate a great week of business.
Polly Besterman is an associate at Carter Jonas in Marylebone. Visit carterjonas.co.uk (020 7299 2442)