A property veteran of four decades, Abrahmsohn counts the world’s wealthiest as clients — Lakshmi Mittal, Simon Cowell and Ringo Starr among them. His firm enjoys a virtual monopoly on ‘Billionaires’ Row’, Bishops Avenue in East Finchley, where asking prices range up to £100 million and beyond.
How have the past twelve months been? ‘Terrible,’ says Glentree’s founder, pointing to the chancellor’s autumn statement, the non-dom debate, changes to offshore ownership rules, stamp duty, ATED, capital gains, oil prices and stock markets. ‘Unless you’re working between £200,000 and £600,000, your business has contracted by 50 per cent. The government were tightening the noose around the golden goose’s neck. Now, they’ve constricted it.’
‘They’ve excited the market between £200,000 and £700,000 — which was overheated anyway and where they’re getting very little stamp duty returns — and they’re kicking the shit out of the market at the middle to upper end, which produces the majority of stamp duty receipts. How can that possibly make any sense?
‘And they’re so terrified of Johnny Foreigner coming here with their saddlebags full of booty that other countries are only too happy to have. How could you not want these wealth creators? This is dumb — this is dumb on steroids, and we will all pay a price for this.’
Abrahmsohn recently launched OnTheMarket.com, a property search portal he co-developed with agencies including Savills, Knight Frank and Strutt & Parker to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove. He is confident it will become the biggest in the country.