Top 10 London Selling
Andy Buchanan, who is known as ‘Mr Chelsea’, was in determined mood when Spear’s caught up with him. ‘It was irritating between Christmas and New Year because a lot of buyers seemed to be coming into the market. But [this year] is starting well.’
But that’s not to say it hasn’t been a tough time. ‘I’m afraid to say that the bigger buyers are complaining that there’s very little stock around, which is our biggest problem in the market,’ he admits. ‘Funnily enough, we’ve got some Swiss buyers who we’re trying to look after: there are only 16 houses in our category up to £8 million. But when they rented we saw over 40 properties.’
This is all part and parcel of what Buchanan calls the ‘unintended consequence’ of stamp duty. ‘Brexit is an excuse for people not to do something, but actually what’s behind it all is that there’s very little temptation,’ he says. ‘We’ve valued five houses this week, and of those five perhaps only two will go on the market.’ On the other side of it, Buchanan sees an increase in renting: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it.’
But Buchanan can weather any storm. He regales Spear’s with stories of life in Chelsea – of the 145 streets in Chelsea, he reckons he’s sold houses in 140 of them.