Is the role of the property buying agent the same in 2015 as it was in 1985?
People think the buying agent role is a relatively modern, new phenomena. But this really isn’t the case at all. It all started in the mid-1980s with houses, but it had been going on for many years before with farms and estates. Read more
What’s the difference between a Buying Agent and a Search Agent?
Is it just terminology? Is it just about the name? Yes, some call themselves search agents – and as you can see I call myself a “buying” agent. But the searching in my view is a very small part of the business. A buying agent has to add value … Read more
How much luck is involved in buying a house privately or “off market”?
I always say that, for us, finding the house is the easy part. And do you know, the majority of the houses and estates we buy – and I’ve bought 193 at last count – are what’s known as sold ‘off market’? That means, buying a house pri… Read more
April 16, 2015
The Law of unintended consequences
Once again it’s election season and – contrary to what we read in the papers – I genuinely think that most people are fundamentally good by nature; at home, they love their families and when they go to work, they try to do the best they can an… Read more
October 5, 2014
Mind the Gap
In our Spring Market Review we commented that the country had experienced one of the wettest winters on record, and as the seasons change once again, following the driest September since 1910, it seems a good time to reflect on the Prime Country Pro… Read more
April 14, 2014
A Post-Christmas Carol
God bless us, every one!” cried Tiny Tim at the end of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, at which point the reader could safely put down the book, with a glisten in his or her eye, and reflect on how well everything had turned out. And so it seems wi… Read more
March 14, 2014
The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain
Spring has sprung and, at the time of writing, the rain seems to have gone to Spain. This makes quite a welcome change for the south of England, which has had the wettest winter since records began, and has left the local councils in the West Countr… Read more
April 18, 2012
Spring forward, Fall back
In years gone by the seasons were predictable, and spring officially started when the clocks went forward by an hour and autumn arrived when the clocks went back, giving most of the country the luxury of an extra hour in bed. Lately, however, the se… Read more
October 21, 2011
Kiss me, Hardy
In 1801, when ordered to disengage the Danish fleet at the Battle of Copenhagen, Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson famously put his telescope to his blind eye and uttered the apocryphal remark that he could “see no ships” before him. In all likelihood… Read more
June 2, 2011
Changing trends
We constantly talk about the lack of supply and this year it is worse than ever, not helped by the late Easter and three weeks in a row with bank holidays. Add to that the general uncertainty of the economy and job security and it is not surprising … Read more
November 25, 2010
The London Roller Coaster
It’s tough to remember a financial rollercoaster ride more violent than the one that the poor old London property market has been on over the last forty-eight months. We have seen the net effects of the last ten-year boom bust and recovery of 1985… Read more
March 2, 2010
The best and the rest
The question that has all house-buyers chewing their fingernails is whether ‘now’ is the right time to buy? Are prices just about to soar, or will things get cheaper if they wait? At the beginning of last year there was doom and gloom and it loo… Read more
October 20, 2009
Central London Property Market Review
In spring 2008, I commented that it felt as though we were being visited by the old Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” and, whilst it was then pretty clear in the aftermath of the nationalisation of Northern Rock that ‘some-thin… Read more
March 10, 2008
Interesting times…
Legend has it that there is a notorious ancient Chinese curse that says “may you live in interesting times” which, as curses go, sounds like a mild form of punishment but becomes more worrying, the longer one thinks about it. A little like the w… Read more
June 14, 2007
The Prime Country House Market
Over the thirty years I have been involved in the market, there has always been a question at the end of each year as to what house prices will do the following spring when the market emerges from its winter hibernation. Read more
December 14, 2006
An astonishing year for prime London property
When I sat down with clients at the beginning of the year, I was asked what I expected to happen to prices. My intuition was that prices would rise rather than fall. At the time it seemed likely that this rise could be in the order of 10-15%, driven… Read more
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