A heavyweight who remains ‘available 24/7’, according to colleagues, Hewlett heads up Savills’ property juggernaut in London. He has over 30 years’ experience in the prime central market and it shows, having been involved in transactions worth well over £100 million in 2015 — a ‘tough’ twelve months for a market that’s been slowing for nigh on two years (the ‘final nail’ being the change to stamp duty).
Foreign buyers may not be quite as prominent as in previous years, but London is still a viable option in the cheerful Hewlett’s eyes — not to mention cheaper than Hong Kong and Singapore, and with fewer annual taxes than New York. ‘London is cooling, not crashing,’ he says. ‘There is still a market — it might be down by 25 per cent in turnover or so, but there are still deals to be done and there are still clients to satisfy. On a short-term basis it’s not the same investment it has been, but you’re probably not going to lose money.’
Indeed, his travels to locales like India and the Caribbean serve to illuminate the reasons for London’s lasting appeal. ‘You learn much more why people love London… They’ll say, “We love London because of its culture, its restaurants, its food, its education.” In the summer we even had “we love the rain”! We find that one difficult to understand, but it’s comforting,’ he laughs.