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News

Just keep breathing!
By Nick Hubner, 21st November 2014
Picture for Just keep breathing! As like many other aspects of the residential sales market in Kensington and Chelsea, the slowdown currently being experienced across the board on prices, is unique to the area. This is to say, as opposed to the rise and fall of other areas of London and the rest of the country, the royal borough tends not to fall in price but merely level off.

Clearly the froth, the urgency if you will, has come off the market as the year has progressed but the end result is that only those properties that were over priced in the first place, haven’t sold (and, it has to be said, never will in the short term unless their owners don’t take note and take action soon.)

Those properties that have sold are either new instructions that are simply, correctly priced according to the new levels of supply (still low) and demand (even lower) or properties that have had their asking price reduced in accordance with the same principles.

There is the difference. No crash. No panic. No rush to the back door never to be seen again. A simple pause for breath before the inevitable re-start no doubt, as widely predicted, after the next election (but, maybe after Christmas-who knows).

Whatever your preference –whether buyer or seller- Kensington and Chelsea has always historically outperformed any other type of investment and there are no doubt more good times ahead-just breath!
PICK UP A BARGAIN
By Alexander Benstead- Intern, 3rd November 2014
Over the last month or so prices in Kensington Chelsea have come off the boil. There are several reasons for this; the strengthening pound, unsteady stock market, the prospect of rising interest rates, diminished European buyers thanks to a slump in the Euro Zone, and most importantly, the prospect of Labour coming into power and imposing the much maligned Mansion Tax.

When the public think about Mansion Tax they automatically think about the grandiose homes of the affluent and...
WHAT IS THE REDRESS SCHEME?
By Jodi Rowlands-Hunt, 9th October 2014
Picture for WHAT IS THE REDRESS SCHEME? If a Residential Letting Agent or Selling agent is a Member of ARLA or NAEA, the membership requirement is that the agent must belong to one of three independent Redress Schemes. Agents were required to sign up to the schemes by 1st October 2014.

The Three Redress Scheme’s are The Property Ombudsman Scheme, The Ombudsman Services; Property and The Property Redress Scheme.

The role of an independent redress scheme is to provide a fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between...
Scottish Referendum, The Impact on London
By Richard Going, 19th September 2014
Picture for Scottish Referendum, The Impact on London We have all been on tender hooks for the last few weeks with the Scottish referendum vote pending and the English government giving away more powers to Scotland than they actually asked for. I am sure Cornwall will be next pressing the powers for independence! What effect has this had on the London housing market?

After the natural realignment of the market in Easter and the summer break, the market seemed to be picking up in the first couple weeks in September so business as usual. In the...
The Future of the London Property Market.
By Alex Herrero, 28th August 2014
Picture for The Future of the London Property Market. I recall Easter this year as a time to reflect on the overall Prime Central London property market. I remember thinking, once Easter is out of the way, we would see the spring market back into its usual rhythm.

However, it is fair to say, that this spring market was different, with only a small amount of sporadic activity taking place. The main reason for this was applicant registrations falling by 30% compared to the same time last year. One thing that is evident is that, those agents who...
Summer Housing Market.
By Lucinda Eaton, 30th July 2014
Picture for Summer Housing Market. Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove said that the average asking price demanded by sellers putting their properties on the market has fallen by 0.8% in July 2014. It has been the first monthly drop since December 2013, in comparison to a 0.3% rise this time last year.

In the news at the moment we are consistently hearing about property prices ‘cooling’ and buyers becoming nervous of buying due to the difficulties in getting a mortgage, alongside the rumours of interest rates rising and...
TEAM WORK
By James Pearce, 30th June 2014
Picture for TEAM WORK Most Estate Agents will comprise of two, possibly three departments depending on the size of the agency: Sales; Lettings and Block Management. The latter is generally for larger independent Estate Agents (like Farrar & Co) or the big corporate firms that seem to cover London with the same style of office and staff. We here at Farrar are very lucky to have separate offices to deal with the three different fields, which all require specific specialist knowledge.

In order for an Estate Agent...
WHERE PEOPLE COUNT!
By Miranda Webster, 30th May 2014
Picture for WHERE PEOPLE COUNT! I have been in the lettings business for just over a year now and moved from my first position to Farrar at the beginning of May. I am grateful to my previous colleagues and employers as I learnt a lot in a short space of time, but this was a Corporate company as apposed to an independent operation like Farrar & Co. I believe the Corporates often lose sight of what this industry is all about; namely people. They concern themselves with targets, levels of achievement, not to mention profit....
An Astonishing Quarter for Sales
By Ben Osborne, 12th May 2014
Picture for An Astonishing Quarter for Sales There are periods of activity in the residential property market when you feeling like crying, periods of activity when you feel like screaming and then periods of activity when you feel like dancing a jig. I’ve never been much of a dancer, although my Scottish Reeling instructor did admonish my Gay Gordon (my partner did not however, having had her right foot broken by the ample hoof of Osborne).

The last quarter has seen a hugely successful run of sales with sealed bids, offering on...
Reliance on Compliance
By Sarah McIntyre, 24th April 2014
Picture for Reliance on Compliance New legislative changes announced recently will make it a legal requirement for all letting agents to register with a redress scheme.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has approved The Property Ombudsman (TPO) to provide a free and independent redress service to landlords and tenants as part of new legislative changes affecting letting agents.

The announcement by Housing Minister Kris Hopkins follows the government’s decision to make it a legal requirement for...
Spring Is Here at last!
By Nick Hubner, 8th April 2014
Picture for Spring Is Here at last! Phew! The Kensington and Chelsea Borough’s architecture can finally be appreciated once more without being seen through rain soaked eyes, a pulled down hat or an umbrella all while the heavens open…..again!

One of the main pleasures I get from working for Farrar residential sales is the wide ranging diversity of architecture within the area that I am able to work with. Prices can fluctuate up and down (very rarely the latter admittedly) but the borough’s offering of some of the most...
The importance of customer service!
By Victoria Lane, 20th March 2014
Picture for The importance of customer service! Having worked in Estate Agency for quite a number of years now and the last 2 years for Farrar & Co, I have always been aware of the bad press we, Agents, sometimes receive. I have never understood how this less than positive opinion of us could have come about, as at Farrar we strive to give the best customer service, keep our clients informed and ensure that we understand what they want,

Well, that was until late last year when the boot was on the other foot and I was looking for a...
Half term holidays!
By Richard Going, 27th February 2014
Picture for Half term holidays! It is the half term holiday time again and pretty much the whole of our market has upped sticks and gone skiing for a few weeks, lucky them and unlucky for us poor ones left behind! On the flip side there is a huge advantage to the buyers who are left behind either strategically or by luck, a lack of competition for a while which is an invaluable opportunity when buying property in this market.

We have just taken on an amazing flat in 367 Fulham Road with a wonderful roof terrace facing...
A spring in your step!
By Jodi Rowlands-Hunt, 13th February 2014
Picture for A spring in your step! I think its safe to say that the majority of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea estate agents are looking forward to Spring arriving. Its been a tough couple of months with a quiet spell over the Christmas period and with the majority of the Chelsea residents away on the slopes during January.

There is an abundance of properties available to let with suppressed applicant activity so it is vital that Landlords are presenting their properties to the best of their ability and also...
Does your agent justify their fee?
By James Boulton-Lea, 29th January 2014
Picture for Does your agent justify their fee? In usual circumstances it would be fair to say the average length of time from offer acceptance to exchange of contracts for any property is anywhere between 3-6 weeks. However, various factors, nearly always out of our control as agents, do inevitably delay the process considerably beyond this timeframe. One such example, if I may?

A one bed, raised ground floor flat in Callow Street, SW3 exchanged contracts just last week after no less than 484 days since we were initially instructed on...
Christmas has arrived, but activity has been good!
By James Pearce, 19th December 2013
Picture for Christmas has arrived, but activity has been good! My colleague Anna, cleverly suggested to avoid the void, that is normally expected at this time of year in her blog on the 15th November. However, much like Julian Chambers reported at the start of December regarding the levels of Sales agreed, we too in Lettings have experienced good levels of business with a healthy number of new Tenants moving into our Landlords’ properties.

Making the most of a potential void period whilst a property is vacant can prove more than successful to enable...
Christmas is coming!
By Julian Chambers, 5th December 2013
Picture for Christmas is coming! Here we are, 5 days into December and we have agreed 5 properties already, with a further sealed bid on a new instruction on Redcliffe Square taking place today! The market continues apace.

The expected seasonal slow down will start to kick in, in the next 10 days as is always the case. We just exchanged contracts on an stunning and perfectly presented Mews house in Hollywood Mews for the full asking price of £2,300,000. This represented a £’s per square foot valuation of almost £1,900....
Avoid the Christmas void
By Anna Whitcombe, 15th November 2013
Picture for Avoid the Christmas void This year has spun by faster than ever, leaving behind our fantastically busy summer months where we let 35 properties in 3 months – the highest level in 3 years! Now the Christmas lights are up in Sloane Square and Peter Jones has its festive window displays assembled, Landlords are asking: is now a good time to put my property on the market? Well, the answer is yes but the trick is to be proactive to secure a Tenant and avoid the Christmas void.

One thing we have learnt in recent years...
Blowing Bubbles
By Iain Russell, 29th October 2013
Picture for Blowing Bubbles The last few months have seen London house prices rise by an average of 10.2%. There is currently divided opinion: bubble or not. Property figures are higher than they were at 2008 levels, however Britain’s economy doesn’t seem to justify these prices. Bank lending to businesses is still stagnant, but mortgage lending is on the up.

Foreign investors have led the charge making up an enormous 60% of investment. The weakening Euro and economic disruption has led well-healed Greeks and...
Picture for Fluctuating market conditions does not mean the condition of your property should fluctuate…. I have been working with Farrar & Co for more than 20 years and as you can imagine, have seen an enormous amount of changes in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea during this time.

Back then, there were only a small handful of agents operating on the Fulham Road, SW10 when the lettings business was in its infancy with very few properties available for prospective tenants. Generally speaking, tenants would have to put up with relatively basic amenities with the condition of the...
SUBSTANCE, NOT JUST STYLE!
By Jodi Rowlands-Hunt, 26th September 2013
Picture for SUBSTANCE, NOT JUST STYLE! Most industries experience a huge amount of competition with new companies opening up on a regular basis, and this is also true of the estate agency world.

There are numerous new estate agencies that have recently opened on the Fulham Road, SW10 and the surrounding area, yet Farrar & Co are one of the longest standing in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. We continue to remain strong and highly successful throughout the area which includes (but is not limited to) Chelsea,...
The Best Summer so far....
By Sarah McIntyre, 20th September 2013
Picture for The Best Summer so far.... I am delighted to report our best summer ever and that’s not just because of the weather! We have concluded an extraordinary amount of new tenancies over the past few months in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in addition to letting several family houses in Parsons Green, SW6.
The spring/summer started with an above average number of available properties which earlier in the year did cause some alarm for our clients. In particular, there was an oversupply of 1 bedroom flats and the...
Two for the price of one!
By Lucy Keenan, 27th August 2013
Picture for Two for the price of one! It has been highlighted (by research from a global property consultancy) that Europe was the only continent to see the value of its most desirable properties fall in the last 12 months. Paris, Madrid and Rome saw prime property values plummet while sale prices in Kensington and Chelsea seem to be breaking records daily. Proof, perhaps, that the eyes of the international community are still firmly fixed on prime Central London property.

With the ever increasing presence of the Europeans...
Summer Days
By Nick Hubner, 1st August 2013
Picture for Summer Days It’s that time again-the tennis is over, as is the rugby and the Ashes are about to be. So, after all that excitement and general back slapping revelry all that’s left to do for most Chelsea residents is to go on holiday before the weather changes for the worse.

However, for those of you, like me, who aren’t packing their suitcase quite yet, let me tell you, there are benefits to staying at home apart from the fantastic local weather we are currently experiencing. Namely, buying that...
Don’t go on holiday, stay in London and buy!!
By Richard Going, 12th July 2013
Picture for Don’t go on holiday, stay in London and buy!! We are fast approaching the school summer holidays where London empties for about 6 weeks and everyone jets off to sunnier climes for their holidays. The market gets quieter and we all wait for September for things to liven up again, or so the story goes!

I would suggest that the summer it a great time to buy, contrary to common belief. It is true there is slightly less stock around as vendors are not around to put their properties on the market, but there are also less buyers around which...
Market Busy? Broken Record(s).
By James Boulton-Lea, 15th May 2013
Picture for Market Busy? Broken Record(s). Whilst January will always take a while to crank back into life, the Spring market is generally a good barometer for the year ahead for estate agents.

In recent months we have witnessed first hand record breaking levels of activity in our Sales office at Farrar.
The quarter February-April this year, represents the busiest three month period for the number of agreed sales in our 38 year history (19, 21 and 20 respectively). Similarly, the cumulative total value of our current agreed sales...
WOW what a difference a couple of weeks can make!
By Julian Chambers, 20th February 2013
Picture for WOW what a difference a couple of weeks can make! WOW what a difference a couple of weeks can make! In the last fortnight we have conducted 5 sales in excess of the asking price, all within a week of coming to the market!
Of those there was a top floor flat in Harrington Gardens, a lower ground floor 2 bedroom flat in Courtfield Gardens, agreed in access of the asking price of £1,595,000, and a couple of flats in Redcliffe Gardens, both achieving new sales records for this very sought after and busy Chelsea Street. The market seems to be...
Farrar Property Management
By Jonathan Channing, 13th February 2013
Picture for Farrar Property Management PILE EM HIGH, SELL EM CHEAP. This was the motto of Tesco founder Jack Cohen when he started out as an enterprising retailer in London’s East End over 90 years ago. Tesco is now the second most profitable retailer in the world. So does his motto work for residential property management? Not for the leaseholder.

Thankfully, Resident Management Companies (RMCs), who are the hardest to please, are starting to accept the advantages that paying decent fees brings.

As the residential property...
January 2013
By Terje Gilje, 30th January 2013
Picture for January 2013 January has always been the bellwether for the first half of the year in our business, and I read last week in the Evening Standard and I quote:

“More than £600 million worth of flats and townhouses ranging from £343,000 for a studio to £6 million for a penthouse have been sold at Battersea Power Station in a four-day stampede. Three quarters of the initial phase of 800 properties at the project called Circus West were snapped up at what is thought to be the fastest selling property...
Happy New Year
By Ben Osborne, 10th January 2013
Picture for Happy New Year Happy New Year to you all! We start 2013 on a serious high having been awarded the Gold Medal in the National Estate Agents Award 2012 announced in December. As the estate agents version of the Olympics, this was a huge honour and a reflection of our continued pursuit of excellence. The judge's comment was as follows:

'Based in an extremely competitive and high-end location, this exceptional niche agency understands its customers’ requirements and more than holds its own against the other...
Happy Christmas
By Julia Francis, 21st December 2012
Picture for Happy Christmas The Lettings market in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has, on the whole, performed well once again this year but a current theme has been a lack of available properties for prospective tenants. This has lead to an increase in those tenants who are already renting within the area quite simply staying put, and renewing their tenancies. This of course has both positive and negative points for all parties, with the tenants benefiting from the security that a long let offers, and no...
The Festive Period
By James Pearce, 6th December 2012
Picture for The Festive Period Christmas is fast approaching as is the usual uncertain property market – is December or January going to be the busiest month?

With presents to buy, houses to decorate, children to look after and family coming to stay (and in need of entertaining!), in our experience, families tend to avoid moving at this time of year and will wait until the decorations (and the extra family!) have been removed and the children back at school until starting a property search. The singles/couples...
Flexibility secures the Tenant
By Anna Whitcombe, 23rd November 2012
Picture for Flexibility secures the Tenant The leaves have fallen from the trees and the sun seems to set just after lunch – a sure sign that winter is very nearly here and the Christmas market is hot on its’ heels.

The run up to the holidays is providing us with an unpredictable market: frantically busy one minute and then quiet the next – people coming into the office invariably ask “how is the market?” and at the moment it is difficult to give a conclusive answer. Generally the enquiries for properties over £1,000 a week, have...
Not your average agent…
By Sarah McIntyre, 9th November 2012
Picture for Not your average agent… Recent data from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) shows the number of new tenancies being signed has dropped year on year.

As our seasoned Landlords will know, the end of the summer is traditionally our busiest time of the year for the volume of new tenancies commencing. A contributing factor to this usually busy time is the start of graduate job programmes in August and September.

This is in contrast to the number of transactions completed with sales offices...
Tips for selling your home this Autumn....
By Lucy Keenan, 30th October 2012
Picture for Tips for selling your home this Autumn.... What with the abysmal weather this summer coupled with Wimbledon and the Olympics keeping everyone rooted to their TV sets, it has not been the best time for home owners to try and sell their houses in Chelsea and South Kensington in a rather unstable market. So, now that summer has passed, what’s the best approach to sell your house during the autumn months?

1. Choose the right Estate Agent.
Get in touch with at least three estate agents and ask them to value your home. Ask them to show...
Why is Chelsea so special?
By Sarah Lewis, 15th October 2012
Picture for Why is Chelsea so special? Outside of the truly exclusive areas such as Belgravia, Chelsea must rank as one of the top addresses both in London and the UK. The properties in this area are extremely desirable and the area is stocked with the well-heeled, the rich and occasionally the famous.

The huge range of property available in the Chelsea area is mostly unified by the one fact that it all costs a great deal. There is, however, still some council property here - the world famous World's End estate. But properties...
Summer Olympics – The Property Legacy
By Richard Going, 13th September 2012
Picture for Summer Olympics – The Property Legacy What a summer!!

The 2012 Olympics was a huge success which started with the amazing opening ceremony which showed everyone that we can create something unique and totally different from any other opening ceremony before which I think has set the bar very high for Rio 2016.

London was presented to the world in a very dramatic and wonderful way with all the events being held in specific locations with beautiful backdrops like Horse Guards Parade, Lord's Cricket Ground, Earls Court...
With the gold rush nearly over, what's next?
By James Boulton-Lea, 6th September 2012
Picture for With the gold rush nearly over, what's next? As would be expected, the summer months have precipitated a fairly dramatic slowdown in activity whilst our clients and prospective purchasers alike, take time out to sun themselves in warmer parts of the world.

Activity in this part of Chelsea, is nearly always cyclical and it will come as no surprise that the July and August ‘school holiday months’ will usually represent one of the quietest periods of the year. Having said this, our flat and house sales departments at Farrar have been...
Life’s a Beach!
By Nick Hubner, 25th July 2012
Picture for Life’s a Beach! As you read this I will hopefully be sunning myself on a beach whilst enjoying a well earned holiday with my family. However, as it is, I am typing this, before I leave, in similar weather on “The Beach” in Chelsea. While the weather and the name are currently the same, the location could not be more different.

Here, instead of parasols we have Prada, instead of flip-flops we have Ferraris and instead of banana boats we have “Eclipse”, Roman Abramovich’s $1billion yacht -soon to make an...
Cafe Life on the 'Golden Mile!'
By Julian Chambers, 5th July 2012
Picture for Cafe Life on the 'Golden Mile!' Well, its official, July is upon us and the seasonal slowdown has begun in Chelsea.

At this time of year, I often find myself begrudging my perennial lack of holiday planning, whilst most of my colleagues regale me with stories of their overseas adventures during the sure-fire lull in our otherwise busy year.

‘The Beach’ continues to attract a range of bronzed ‘café’ dwelling itinerants, but focus on purchasing property along the ‘golden mile’ of Chelsea becomes secondary to the...
Picture for Is the Euroland crisis affecting the London property market? As the euro zone lurches from crisis to crisis and Greece teeters on the brink of default and exit from the euro, the number of wealthy European property buyers in London has surged. Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and even the French are desperate to convert their euros into bricks and mortar in the Capital.

London has always been popular for its liberal legal and tax regimes. Continued interest from Middle Eastern and Asian, in particular Chinese, investors in central London is also pushing...
Not just RBK&C specialists!
By Ben Osborne, 18th June 2012
Picture for Not just RBK&C specialists! We are often asked what areas we cover at Farrar & Co. We specialise in the main part in the The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, but we have also enjoyed some considerable success further afield. For example, we have just sold a beautiful family house in Wandon Road, SW6, one of Fulham’s premier streets for a record price. We are marketing a glorious family house south of the river in Clapham, SW4 on Lessar Avenue, moments from the Common, Abbeville Road and with tube links into The...
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
By Julia Francis, 6th June 2012
Picture for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee While the rest of Europe is under a cloud of economic doom and gloom, we are casting aside all our worries for the moment, in anticipation of the Diamond Jubilee which is about to get into full swing. The mood is buoyant and London is filling up with people from all over the globe preparing to join the party! Well known roads in the Royal Borough are starting to get dressed up for the occasion and there seems to be a real buzz in the air for what should be a brilliant bank holiday weekend. ...
Olympic Lets
By James Pearce, 28th May 2012
Picture for Olympic Lets When the exciting news was announced that London was to host the 2012 Olympic Games I think many home owners rubbed their hands together at the prospect of renting out their homes for huge rents during the Olympic period.

Since the beginning of the year we have had an enormous amount of enquiries from potential Landlords in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea looking to cash in on the Olympic letting market whilst they escape London to one of their country (or European) homes. Some...
Summer House Market
By Jodi Rowlands, 17th May 2012
Picture for Summer House Market It is evident to see that the summer months are on their way, what with the Diamond Jubilee and the exciting 2012 Olympic Games closing in on us. I can imagine that it is going to be a fun and busy time for London with many visitors taking advantage of staying in the area. As a keen viewer of major cycling events, I am thrilled to hear that the Men and Women’s road cycle races are passing through passing between our Sales and Lettings offices on the Fulham Road, on the weekend of 28th/29th...
Sell or Rent??
By Sarah McIntyre, 11th May 2012
Picture for Sell or Rent?? A recent report by ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) suggested that there was a decline in the number of properties coming onto the rental market because they can't be sold, suggesting that the initial boom in 'reluctant landlords' joining the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is coming to an end.

Clearly this is a national picture and not quite what we are experiencing here in Kensington & Chelsea. We are finding more and more vendors who are not achieving a sale as quickly (or...
Where are the buyers coming from?
By Lucy Keenan, 10th May 2012
Picture for Where are the buyers coming from? Our recent sales indicate that the crucial numbers of buyers in Kensington and Chelsea are our overseas friends. Chelsea is one of the most fashionable districts in London and international buyers are flocking from every corner of the globe to buy a little piece of London, be it a charming period house in Chelsea Park Gardens SW3, or a triplex with direct garden access in Onslow Gardens, SW7.

All areas of Kensington and Chelsea seem to appeal. From the easy commutability of South...
The Earls Court Exhibition Redevelopment.
By Nick Hubner, 30th April 2012
Picture for The Earls Court Exhibition Redevelopment. How will the Earls Court Exhibition Centre Redevelopment impact on the Kensington & Chelsea property market?

Earls Court has always been considered by the general buying public as the poor relation to other areas of the Royal Borough.

However, while it is true to say that the cheaper prices of some streets in this postcode reflect a less desirable impression than other, more glamorous, trendy or historically well known areas of Kensington and Chelsea, the majority of this area very...
The advantages to busier thoroughfares.
By James Boulton-Lea, 19th April 2012
Picture for The advantages to busier thoroughfares. The hustle and bustle of some of Kensington and Chelsea’s busier thoroughfares are not always the primary choice of buyers seeking to purchase a home in the Royal Borough.
However, in these belt-tightening days, there are many compelling reasons why you might want to seriously consider a flat or family home on one of the Royal Borough’s busier streets. For one simple reason alone; it will cost you significantly less!

Many prospective purchasers change their minds and will adapt their...
Market Prediction 2012
By Richard Going, 13th April 2012
Picture for Market Prediction 2012 The start of a new financial year is upon us again, so I would have to ask the age old question of ‘What is in store for the market this year?!’

This is never an easy question to answer and I think that most of our predictions over the last two years have been surprisingly surpassed given where the market was back in 2009. This just reinforces the belief that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is one of the best places in the world to invest in property due to it outperforming...
Chelsea in the sun!
By Sarah Lewis, 30th March 2012
Picture for Chelsea in the sun! Well, spring has sprung and so seemingly has the market. We are busy, taking on some amazing properties and registering some really motivated buyers. This is historically THE time to sell and despite Mr Osbornes' attempts to quell the market and bash the rich, the Central London property market continues to motor on.

We have just taken on a sublime first floor flat in Tregunter Road that has been renovated to an extremely high standard and is bathed in natural light - its a peach of...
STAMP DUTY INCREASE – will it affect you?
By Terje Gilje, 22nd March 2012
Picture for STAMP DUTY INCREASE – will it affect you? Not me I hear you say. Well dream on, it will. Although the new rate is only applicable to sales over £2.0 million the effect will reverberate through the housing market. In addition to this, any properties brought through a company will be taxed at 15%!!

This is a tax that unfairly penalises London. £2.0 million plus properties are heavily skewed to London and the South East. These two regions accounted for 81% of sales of £1 million plus property in England and Wales in the period from...
BLUE PLAQUES: are they a financial benefit?
By Nick Hubner, 14th March 2012
Picture for BLUE PLAQUES: are they a financial benefit? For many years, I have been asked this question when selling flats in Donovan Court. This fairly unassuming, art deco building houses many pieds à terre and is popular with rental investors, who favour the building’s centrally located position and immaculately kept common areas. It also happens to be a building with its own blue plaque, having been home between 1920 and 1958 to Rosalind Franklin—a pioneer in the study of molecular structures, including DNA. While this information itself might...
What an unusual month!
By Ben Osborne, 1st March 2012
Picture for What an unusual month! What an unusual month we are having. One day we are quiet, the next furiously busy. One week we agree nothing, the next we agree 10 properties. Us agents are always trying to make sense and justify quiet patches: "Oh its half term" "Half term runs for 2 weeks this term" etc etc etc. We are running around and achieving good results but there is seemingly no continuity to the trends, the City and the markets tend to have a 24 hour lag on activity for a busy or a quiet day. There I go again.
...
QR codes – What are they?
By Richard Stead, 23rd February 2012
Picture for QR codes – What are they? QR codes or to give them their full name Quick Response codes are a small barcode similar to the ones that we see everyday in supermarkets. They enable smart phone users to obtain more information about products or services and in our case, properties. QR codes are now more widely advertised in magazines, newspapers, billboards and any other places a company wishes to display them.

When you see a QR code (and they are popping up all over the place!) you simply take out your smart phone...
Chelsea doesn’t do Snow!
By Julia Francis, 16th February 2012
Picture for Chelsea doesn’t do Snow! Those of us who drive into Chelsea from the outer environs of London spend the first 10 minutes of the day trudging through snow and scraping the ice from our cars. Once we get into Chelsea we have, each of us, observed that there is no snow; barely a snow flake or icicle to speak of! This is probably just as well, as most of our applicants would be less likely to venture out quite so eagerly to buy or rent a property if they had to deal with the snow and ice factor!

My own expertise is...
Picture for What is our prediction for property values in Kensington & Chelsea for 2012? This is a common question that I am asked by Buyers and Sellers alike.

When a client is considering a sale of their flat/house, an important consideration in determining whether the moment is right to sell/buy a property will be based upon the future expectations of value. There will always be circumstances where a client is relocating abroad, has to sell to release capital for another investment or alternatively is either upsizing or downsizing. Determining the exact moment to place a...
Property - The Mother of All Impulse Purchases?
By James Pearce, 9th February 2012
Picture for Property - The Mother of All Impulse Purchases? Now I am not suggesting that someone would leave home with no intention of buying or renting a property only to find they return with a 4 bedroom house in their shopping bag, however I think in principal the same impulse is needed when finding a new home.

Knowing that a property needs to be presented at its best to generate the “impulse” to buy or rent, it’s always a shame when this presentation lets the property down. In most cases a small amount of decorating work, dressing of the...
Are you Choosing the Right Agent ????
By Jodi Rowlands, 2nd February 2012
Picture for Are you Choosing the Right Agent ???? Making the decision to rent your home can sometimes be a difficult one, especially when it’s been your family home that you feel attached to. Faced with the prospect of choosing an agent amongst the large choice of established estate agencies in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, could be an even harder one. It can be quite a daunting process when making your decision what with agents offering vastly reduced fees, making promises that your property will be rented within a week...
Local letting knowledge counts!
By Sarah McIntyre, 26th January 2012
Picture for Local letting knowledge counts! It was being widely reported by BBC News last week that the average rent fell by 0.8% in December compared with November, to £711 a month, with monthly rental falling for the first time in a year in London. The reasons for this dip were being attributed variously to renters feeling the shock of their Christmas shopping bills leading to more of them defaulting on their monthly payments at one extreme, and the annual seasonal dip that is consistently seen at the other.

Clearly, this is a...
What would be my perfect Chelsea home?
By Lucy Keenan, 19th January 2012
Picture for What would be my perfect Chelsea home? I wonder? I am incredibly lucky to view, sell and acquire some of the finest properties in London. My department specialises in properties between £1,000,000 and £100,000,000 - this is huge range and it is important that one never becomes flippant about the numbers one is talking about (I once worked with an agent who used to be a ship broker and he told me not to think of the numbers involved - ships are a lot more expensive than houses and flats!).

At my tender age I would want a cool...
Picture for Do I sell ‘as is’ or ‘do some work’ before going to market? This is a question that estate agents are often asked.

In my opinion, the general rule for Chelsea is to do ‘all or nothing.’

While a quick lick of paint and some new, inexpensive carpets might shift your property in a buoyant market, the Chelsea clientele are generally used to paying a premium for more than a mediocre finish; even the untrained eye can invariably see past a basic touch up to procure a quick sale. If one chooses to do some work, it is certainly worth investing some...
Picture for “What should I look for in a central London rental investment?" If I had a pound for every time I have been asked this question over the last 24 years of being an estate agent, I would be a millionaire!

I always say the key to the answer is in the question- specifically in the word, ‘desirable’. This word conjures up different meanings to different people.

What do YOU truly want- do you desire the sort of flat that you would like to live in or do you desire a really good rental return.

Put another way; are you thinking of purchasing with your...
Why buy in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea?
By Richard Going, 19th December 2011
Picture for Why buy in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea? Background

For decades the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been revered as ‘the’ place to buy in Central London for owner occupiers, investors and developers alike, but why?

There are a number of reasons for this which I will try and clarify in this blog but the appeal of the area is not just to UK residents but the world over which is why it hosts such a diverse community.

The city of London (Londinium in Latin) was established by the Romans around AD 43. It served as a...
HOW TO TELL YOU ARE INFATUATED WITH PROPERTY
By Sarah Lewis, 16th December 2011
Picture for HOW TO TELL YOU ARE INFATUATED WITH PROPERTY 1. You have a picture of Kirstie Alsop/Sarah Beaney/Phil Spencer/Kevin McCloud as your screen saver.
2. Your inbox has more emails from Estate Agents and property portals than your friends.
3. You are not only on first name terms with all your local estate agents, you are in fact, spending Christmas with one of them and have been invited to three of their Christmas office parties.
4. You spend more time talking to estate agents than your parents.
5. The only umbrellas you have are...
Shall I sell my property now or wait until the New Year?
By Julian Chambers, 8th December 2011
Picture for Shall I sell my property now or wait until the New Year? This is a particularly regular question that I am asked by many of our clients at this seasonally distracting time.

The pre-Christmas ‘Party Season’ in Kensington and Chelsea, offers a fair share of diversions to avid house hunters and sellers, blurring the resolve to move with the desire to socialise….understandable!

The conventional seasonal cyclicality that drives our flat and house market in South Kensington and Chelsea, has evidently detached itself, in a major way from...
Farrar win Highly Commended at the Property Management Awards
By Jonathan Channing, 8th December 2011
Picture for Farrar win Highly Commended at the Property Management Awards I am delighted to confirm that on Monday evening, we were ‘Highly Commended’ in the News on the Block Property Management Awards in the category ‘London Property Management Company of the Year’. Our trophy is proudly displayed in our office. We know our application was strong and that is thanks for our clients, leaseholders and business partners – we really appreciate your support. We hope you in turn appreciate the dedication and hard work that our staff strive to achieve every day of the...
Property prices in Kensington and Chelsea
By Terje Gilje, 29th November 2011
Picture for Property prices in Kensington and Chelsea The volatility in the financial markets, Euro crisis and potential for a global meltdown only seem to help boost the prices of flats and houses in Kensington and Chelsea as investors continue to seek safe investment havens. Yesterday, we exchanged contracts on a flat in Penywern Road in Earls Court, SW5 at 8% over the asking price. We were instructed to act alongside a local agent to boost our client’s exposure to a more cosmopolitan applicant base. We were able to solicit four bids over the...
A Busy Start to November Property Sales
By Ben Osborne, 29th November 2011
Picture for A Busy Start to November Property Sales It has been a busy month. We have had sealed bids on 5 properties within the last 10 days: 1) An un-modernised townhouse on Seymour Walk at £2,500,000 2) A beautifully presented first floor flat in Redcliffe Square at £1,800,000 3) A great cottage in Billing Place SW10 at £1,275,000 4) An immaculate 2 bedroom first floor flat at £825,000 and 5) A perfect pied a terre in Gilston Road, Chelsea at £475,000. We have also acquired a flat in Cadogan Square for a client at over £3,100 per square...