After seven years in London property, including setting up the Middle East desk at a Mayfair-based buying agent, the affable Arabic speaker noticed that her friends and family in Egypt shared a similar passion.
It’s not just London who agents describe 2015 as having been difficult for the market — Lawson says the countryside has felt the hit too: ‘In the last fifteen years commercial farmland has escalated in price enormously. It almost tripled in value just over a decade. That growth was not sustained throughout 2015.’
In tough times, Fatemi’s rule is to push even harder: ‘In what someone would consider a weaker market, we’ve actually excelled and done better than we’ve ever done before, which is proof that hard work and tenacity in sales in this can be done. It just needs a little bit of effort on the agents’ side.’
If you were looking to sell a house in the country, the chances are someone would recommend Sweeting. Knight Frank’s country department head has been living and breathing the countryside for his entire adult life, having joined 29 years ago after graduating in rural land management from the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.
Last year was a big one for Prime Purchase — a ‘top three’ year out of the firm’s fourteen-year history — and for Wells personally, who has just wrapped up his first year as the firm’s managing director. The new role has seen the Hampshire and Berkshire specialist busy growing the firm’s ranks — including the Cotswolds team (now the largest in the country) — and advising on £110 million-plus of prime purchases for HNWs.