The venerable Buchanan appreciates a challenge: ‘Last year was horrendous, sheer hell’.
It didn’t faze the elder statesman, who has become so synonymous with his area that he’s known in the press as ‘Mr Chelsea’. During his 43 years there he’s weathered every storm, saying the rise in competition ‘actually makes it a bit more fun’.
Having spent his entire life in SW3, he doesn’t just know his patch inside out but actively champions it: ‘We’ve got over 40 different nationalities here, everything that happens in Chelsea is friendly and a lot of people feel it’s a very safe place to live. The architecture, the amenities, the way Chelsea works is second to none. It’s a place that has performed extremely well in the property market for both investing and living.’
Buchanan freely admits he’s being ‘thoroughly biased’, belying sentiment rather than insincerity: ‘Cheyne Walk — those are probably the most fascinating houses in the world.’
Emotional attachments are something he builds with clients too — one came to him because their grandmother said they should only buy through him. ‘You get a lot of that — a huge amount of people support me, which is very flattering, and I take a lot of trouble to make sure people are looked after and given the right advice.’