Our Wandsworth office overlooks the sunny pasture of the common and this morning it’s bustling with mums in their Sweaty Betty sports gear, pushing their Bugaboos. We have been here for 31 years as Sullivan Thomas and recently merged with national property consultancy Carter Jonas, which has been an organic transition for both firms.
Over the last seven years, we have seen local house prices soar above all expectations — they have gone up a staggering 17 per cent in the last year alone — and demand for family homes on and around the commons continues to outstrip supply.
With the price differential between London and country currently at its widest, Carter Jonas’ national network has been of great benefit to our clients looking to move out of London this year. As a national network, we are able to advise them on a lifestyle leap to a cottage as close as Berkshire, or to farmhouses as far away as Yorkshire and Cumbria.
This morning, I have five market appraisals to prepare for and have several clients who want to speak with me after the weekend’s viewings. I see a very special family house on Nicosia Road. The vendor is an extremely talented developer and he has worked his magic on this six-bedroom property. I am sure it will be love at first sight for the right family.
Great start this morning as we agree a deal on a property in one of my favourite streets, Althorp Road. The buyers are from Hong Kong and through our great network of relocation agents we were able to put together a stunning deal.
Another deal on a flat is proving much harder, as neither buyer nor seller will budge. It’s a property in need of some work just off Bellevue Road.
It really is a difficult time for those hoping to buy right now. With the rising market, buyers attempting to drive a hard bargain on stock that might need some renovation are seeing that by the time they agree a sale it’s for a much lesser house.
Tonight, I am auctioneering at Beatrix Potter primary school in their auction of promises. I’m well out of my comfort zone, but love my time there with the parents who are raising money for the PTA fund.
I rush across town this morning to attend a management meeting in our new HQ off Oxford Street, which is occupied by our London commercial and planning teams.
Our clients off Roseneath Road have received a second offer on their house from a more proceedable applicant. I inform the applicants who offered yesterday and they have promised to respond by tomorrow morning, but I don’t think that this will be soon enough. The market moves at a great pace in outer prime central London, as my colleagues in Fulham and Parsons Green will confirm — you have to be quick to secure a deal.
The other couple increased their asking price at 2pm, on the condition that the property is removed from the market. The client is keen to accept as they are offering on a property through our Harrogate office.
Before leaving the office for home, I prepare the paperwork for our new instruction — a brilliant house in Wiseton Road, with two double bedrooms, a turret staircase and off-street parking. This is a steal at £1 million.
I meet some new buyers today. They are expats in Moscow and looking to move back to London in a couple of years’ time. They are keen to buy or rent out until they come as they are afraid that if they wait any longer, they’ll be priced out of the area. I show them a property in “The Toast Rack” — the sought-after area between Trinity Road and Wandsworth Common — and another in Balham Park Road.
I introduce a new client to Fiona Bourke, head of our lettings team. They are moving from Wandsworth to Suffolk and want to rent out their London home until they are certain that country life is for them.
This seems to be a growing trend for those so well accustomed to living within a stone’s throw of all the amenities of Bellevue Road. Wandsworth Common offers a village life unlike any other, which is what draws people here — and makes it very difficult to leave.
- Jason Corbett is a partner and head of sales at Carter Jonas in Wandsworth (firstname.lastname@example.org; 020 8767 7711; carterjonas.co.uk)