It’s not quite over yet but, as minds turn to Christmas and the New Year, we thought it would be timely to look back on another year here at Black Brick working for our clients, as well as highlighting some of the deals we’re most proud of.
In the 11 months to the end of November, we acquired properties for our clients worth a total of £80 million – ranging in value from £507,500 to £21,500,000. We bought properties in 13 different post-codes across London, from Lillie Square, Fulham in the west to the Hoola Building, Stratford in the east.
Overall, we saved a total of £6.6 million for our clients, or an average of 7% below the asking price.
Of these acquisitions, 25% were off-market, roughly in line with what we saw in 2017, reflecting two things: discretion in the case of high-profile vendors; and the continuing preference of many sellers to test the market without revealing an asking price.
We also sold £15 million worth of property for our clients in 2018, in five transactions. In addition, we successfully closed four rental deals over the 11 months.
This year we also saw substantial growth in our vacant care service. We are now managing 50 properties for our clients, carrying out weekly inspections and ensuring that they can return to their properties exactly as they like to find them.
We are also pleased to have chalked up a number of industry awards and commendations over the year, with the latest being both Managing Partner Camilla Dell and Partner Caspar Harvard Walls recognised as “outstanding in field” London Buying agents in the prestigious Spears 500 list. Other recognition includes being voted Best Property Adviser, for the third year in a row, by the readers of Wealth Adviser, and one of the 2018 Top Residential Property Buyers by eprivateclient, and as a recommended advisor in the HNW Guide from legal publisher Chambers.
“The market has continued to present challenges in 2018, with continued uncertainty over Brexit weighing heavily on clients minds,” says Dell. “But there is still a market, and there is still strong demand for attractively priced prime London property.”
She notes that Noting Hill has been an outlier, with prices performing better than any other part of Prime Central London. “We were competitively bidding on several properties in the £10 million to £20 million range earlier this year, before securing our client’s ideal home in September for £21.5 million,” says Dell.
“The market has presented buyers with some outstanding buying opportunities,” adds Harvard-Walls. “Our recent transaction on Red Lion House, a freehold house in Mayfair which we acquired from a receiver for under £1750 per square foot, was arguably one of the best value transactions to have happened all year.”
Meanwhile, dollar- or euro-based overseas clients have also benefited from sterling’s weakness making purchasing London property an even more attractive proposition this year.
“We maintain our view that buyers and investors should look at London property as a longer-term hold, given the uncertain times that lay ahead, but many who are buying now will look back on this time as one of the best buying opportunities,” says Dell. “It’s no coincidence that both Black Brick partners bought their homes in December: it’s a great month to strike a deal, with less competition out there and sellers minds focused on getting a sale through before the New Year”.
It may be a buyer’s market, but limited supply means there’s stiff competition for the best properties. Nonetheless, we managed to secure an almost 19% discount on this family home in Kensington.
We’re connected. Our clients had been looking for almost a year for a trophy property on just a handful of streets in Notting Hill. When exactly the right property came up – off-market, and priced at £21.5 million – we swooped. Our clients have requested discretion, so we can’t say more…
We think outside the box. Our clients were looking for a large, high quality, new-build four-bed – an extremely tall order, within their budget. We saw an opportunity to join two apartments in a boutique development, persuaded the developer to do the work and to sell at a competitive price.
We help clients at every stage of their lives. Our client here was in his twenties, and starting out in London. With our advice and support, we helped him take his first step on the property ladder.
Properties coming out of receivership can offer compelling opportunities. We secured this amazing converted pub for £15 million – down from its initial price of £25 million before it was repossessed by the bank.
We inspected over 50 flats on behalf of our clients who were looking to purchase a second home/holiday home in North London, before finding this gem of a new build property, located in the heart of Hampstead. We also negotiated a £137,500 saving from the asking price.
We take pride in helping our clients make themselves at home in London. We managed a relocation from Canada, found our clients the perfect rental property, and also ensured all their furniture could come too.
We also help our clients sell properties. Ebury Street presented a particular challenge, with numerous other similar properties for sale in the same building. Astute direct marketing found a buyer, and careful negotiations saw the property sell close to the asking price.
We would like to wish all our readers, clients and partners a merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a healthy and successful 2019. We look forward to working with you to help buy, sell or manage your properties in the year ahead.