• Extra-ordinary agents

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    Extra-ordinary agents

    One of my god-children has just completed two weeks work experience at Douglas & Gordon. When reporting back to his father to relate his experience, he said that it wasn’t a career for him. Fair enough! But the reason he gave was that being an estate agent seemed a very unfulfilling and boring profession. “All they do is show people houses, and when they do they don’t seem to do much selling.” I realise that recounting this tale does not show Douglas & Gordon in a very good light, but it is the perception of the general public and of many people who do choose to enter this profession. It couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. To be a truly outstanding estate agent requires a great many skills (very few people have them), and the easiest part of the process is showing someone around a house.

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  • The London Barometer July 2010

    Sunday, August 01, 2010

    The London Barometer July 2010

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  • Nappy to Happy Valley

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Nappy to Happy Valley

    OK, the Northcote Road is Nappy Valley and to be honest, ideally suited to the role. With plenty of shops and cafés that cater to the push chairs and the beautiful young mothers attached to them. If you are free and single or a young couple, don’t turn up your nose at the area. Fair enough, the prams rule during the day but this very safe area changes in the evening. When the Bugaboo’s are folded away and the children are being read bedtime stories, this little patch of London becomes a fantastic night spot. A few beers in All Bar One or The Bolingbroke followed by an Indian, Italian, Thai, or more traditional burger. Then on to “mingling” in the Clapham Grand into the small hours. Yes, the Northcote Road can provide.
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  • Sunlit uplands...pass me a bucket of cold water.

    Thursday, July 08, 2010

    Sunlit uplands...pass me a bucket of cold water.

    I went to a lunch yesterday given by a publisher. It’s an annual event and I usually give all such events a miss. Shy and retiring as I am I was persuaded by a colleague and it was actually good to see a few old faces I see all too often. The old timers are thinning out, one lovely guy has just bowed out with MS, it’s the sort of business here in central London that you only leave when forced through illness. Many have tried to leave but came back. But I digress.
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  • The London Barometer June 2010

    Thursday, July 01, 2010

    The London Barometer June 2010

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  • Estate agents ARE the canaries of the wider Economy, so what do they think.

    Friday, June 04, 2010

    Estate agents ARE the canaries of the wider Economy, so what do they think.

    Whilst standing in a bank queue this morning I overheard a guy at the back saying “…and the dreaded gazumping is back”. That’s not the way it feels to me at the moment and it’s a perhaps timely reminder that estate agents are the canaries of the wider economy.
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  • The London Barometer May 2010

    Tuesday, June 01, 2010

    The London Barometer May 2010

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  • Market Report – The Matchbox Property Guide 2010

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Market Report – The Matchbox Property Guide 2010

    So, what does 2010 hold for the London property owner?  After a slow start February and March saw significant activity in the sales market and prices continuing to rise at the same rate as they did in 2009.  However, as we came in to June it was a very different story.  It is as if the entire United Kingdom was like a punch drunk boxer, reeling from blow after blow as it discovers the full extent of Blair and Brown’s profligacy over the last twelve years.  I seriously believe that the British people are increasingly nervous about the future and the slow decrease in activity in every sector of the property market is largely caused by fear.  Never a good emotion when confronting big decisions about whether to rent or to buy, how much to spend or when shall I make my move?  The lack of property available to let will mean rental prices increasing month on month and demand for property in central London will mean sales prices holding up, but not necessarily increasing significantly.
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  • HIP replacement

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    HIP replacement

    If you want a HIP replaced these days, even on the NHS, you get it made of unobtanium and it’ll last until you’ll have more fun in one of those electric trolleys that mad old people charge around in. At the moment the replacement HIP we’ve been offered in the property business is like damp cardboard, in other words worse than useless. Rather like Labour abolishing the House of Lords with no idea about what to replace it with much trumpeting has accompanied the removal of the packs but nothing else has been said about what’ll replace it.
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