Top Ten London Selling
‘It’s frightening to think how many years I have spent here,’ says property veteran Andy Buchanan. He joined John D Wood in 1973, and has become a pillar of affluent Chelsea: ‘If I ever retire, I will have to have a party of about 20,000 people,’ he laughs.
John D Wood has done business in 142 of Chelsea’s 145 streets. But although this track record is a glowing one, the past few years have been frustrating: ‘The problems we’ve had haven’t been caused by Brexit or the general election,’ says Buchanan. ‘It’s all about supply and demand. There are lots of people who want to move but can’t find anything to replace what they own.’
Stamp duty is also a concern for Buchanan: ‘We have sold houses where stamp duty is 5 per cent, and in the same terrace you have another house sold with stamp duty at 13 or 15 per cent. I don’t think the politicians are aware of the crisis.’
Despite hard times, however, the resilience of the Chelsea market has prevailed. The start of 2020 bodes very well for John D Wood. ‘So far we’re up 68 per cent from last year,’ says Buchanan. ‘We’re absolutely flat out with new buyers, we have the most stock available, the most new institutions, the most terms agreed, and the most offers.’