Top Ten London Buying
‘A little bit of grey hair is quite valuable at the moment,’ says Robert Bailey. ‘A lot of young people haven’t seen a bad market before. Ask the questions that need answering and you’ll get there.’ Indeed, it seems Bailey’s experience has insulated him from some of the difficulties. ‘It hasn’t been tough for us at all. We’ve had a really good year – everything has stabilised. But it’s been a long time coming.’ That, of course, refers both to Brexit and to the stamp duty increases under the Coalition. But Bailey has been able to add value: ‘Buyers have dipped their toe and in and thought, “We need some help – maybe a buying agent will open up the market?”’ Bailey had ten years at Knight Frank, as head of its private office, and founded the firm’s dedicated buying arm, the Buying Solution. It’s that level of experience and in-depth knowledge which is sometimes lacking in competitors: ‘There are a lot of people who have started out as sole traders. A lot of people didn’t bring to the table what they said they would. We are very effective at what we do.’ He’s noticed the trend towards lateral apartments, but he isn’t sure it’s right for everyone. ‘A lot of buildings have pools that people don’t use – you’ve got to watch the cost of living,’ he warns.