Top Ten Country
‘I’ll never oversell, and I’ll never tell anyone that something is what it isn’t,’ says Holborow, the soft-spoken farm and country estates expert and Savills veteran of 30 years.
‘It’s important to think about every deal as a long-term relationship,’ he says — a popular modus operandi that has propelled Holborow up the ladder from land agent to head of Savills’ country department to deputy head of the recently established private office, where he works alongside its head David Forbes, focusing mainly on the top end of the country market. ‘There’s not another big firm which has one person on both farms and estates and top-end country houses. With us it’s all under the one team at the super-prime end,’ he says.
After a slow start to the year, the final quarter of 2016 saw a marked increase in activity, especially in the southern home counties — the likes of Ascot, St George’s Hill and Wentworth — where the price per square foot is second only to London. ‘The referendum vote and the pound-dollar ratio have seemed to provide a sea change in the market. Suddenly buyers are showing interest as they perceive it to be cheap,’ he says, adding that both vendors and buyers are showing willingness to move on deals. After a slow year across the board, Savills saw a surge in viewings over Christmas and Holborow predicts that ‘a lot of the properties people have been seeing around for the past year will be sold’. He’s especially positive about movement around the £8-10 million price bracket.