As we round off 2022, the Harwood Advisory team wanted to look back on all that has passed this year, as well as look forward to what we can expect in 2023.
It’s been a year of challenges for the country as a whole. But with challenges come obstacles for us all to overcome – and we have to be proud of all that we have achieved as a team, and for our clients.
Our Senior Property Advisor, Anna Lazenbury, writes passionately about the transition from working for a large firm to a more personal, boutique team:
Compared with our experience of working in large firms, it goes without saying that there is a huge difference in hierarchy and levels. With the focus purely on the clients, decisions can be made in a matter of minutes or hours which is ultimately most beneficialTo the client and efficient.
Working in a very close and unified way, we have the ability to be incredibly proactive and service client’s requirements with a very hands on approach – stepping in for each other whenever required. In respecting one another implicitly, we’ve an inherent understanding of how best to deliver for our clients 24/7.
Without a very well known name over the door or established brand behind us, the majority of our business comes through our existing relationships, and the word of mouth referrals that mean so much. Those clients trust us to be on hand to answer all questions and find a solution to their every need. From market values and conveyancing through to how best to dress their property and which photographers to use – we are there with them every step of the way.
Discretion is paramount. Our clients rightly demand privacy – so we have to make sure everything we do is ‘under the radar’. It’s why most of our deals are completed off-market. This in itself places even greater importance on our contacts and client relationships.
Cumulatively, we have almost 60 years of Prime Central London experience – but now, we are fortunate to not have any geographical restrictions placed upon us. With Susannah’s impressive knowledge of the country market, we are able to help with property requirements across both the breadth of London and the Country without having to “hand over” to anybody.
This afternoon, we are off to meet a client who is considering offering on an a flat that they would like to refurbish for rentals- but they would like our advice on their proposed layout and finishes. As a trusted old client of Sami’s, they very much appreciate his advice and input – especially within certain developments in Kensington where he has sold a substantial number of apartments.
From there, I head off to a number of previews that I need to undertake on behalf of a client in search of a lateral property with outside space; This is not something readily available in today’s post-Covid market, but it is precisely why we are instructed by clients – to have access to the widest range of properties, both on and off market. They are prepared to undertake some works to a property but with the sharp increased costs of building works as well as procurement timeframes being quite lengthy I need to make sure any “project” they take on is as transparent as possible and the budget doesn’t overrun.
Harwood offers a very hands on approach with clients. At any one time, we are mindful of only working with a handful of properties, searches and advisory projects. This helps to build a very personal relationship with clients, and fundamentally goes a long way in ensuring we become their ‘go to’ for all property related matters.
As a boutique agency, we all work very hard to create an excellent and knowledgeable reputation in the marketplace. To have built such an incredible track record in three short years is testament to that.
Sami and Susannah and I all share the same ethos and values. We love what we do, and enjoy helping clients. If we can continue to share that enthusiasm, passion and knowledge with our clients, then the future will be a bright and positive one.
67 of the finest individual apartments in London.
Built in 1914 in the Neo-Georgian style by the esteemed architects H.Percy Adams and Charles Holden, the Grade II listed block is simply stunning.
Each apartment is totally unique – unlike the new build developments that surround it.
Academy Gardens is one of central London’s premier addresses – offering a secure, gated environment with 24hr porter and security, landscaped gardens, residents’ swimming pool and gymnasium.
We currently have the mandate for the sale of 3 apartments in Academy Gardens, one of which is completely off-market. All at different price points.
Deal sealed on £15mn Kensington penthouse
28TH JUNE 2022
Harwood Advisory builds team June 2022
Sky’s The Limit November 2021
First published in April 2022
It’s been an incredibly busy and momentous 12 months for Harwood Advisory. We see it as a new dawn for the super prime property industry. With over £150m in sales, and strong clients relationships in the UK, US, Asia, Middle East, and Europe – we’re feeling unbelievably positive for the year ahead, and beyond.
Life is tough sometimes. We shouldn’t shy away from those moments – instead, we should come together and learn from them.
Over the past two years, living through a global pandemic, we have seen first hand how people are living through all manner of issues in their personal worlds. Everyone’s day-to-day has been turned upside down, and as a consequence – we are seeing decisions being made much more quickly than they would otherwise have been. A change of job. A shift in outlook. A resetting of work life balance. A pressing need to stop putting that big life decision off for another day. A realisation that time is our most precious commodity.
Flexible, agile working has brought so much to the society of today. Coupled with the restrictions on travel, we’ve all had to find new and ingenious ways to find our own ‘quiet time’. But with this has also come an appreciation of personal space and location.
A UK Economic Report by PwC in January 2021 predicted that the population of London could fall in 2021 for the first time in more than 30 years, as the economic fallout from COVID-19 prompts people to reconsider big-city life. The report highlighted:
“City-dwellers are now rethinking their living situations in light of the pandemic, and re-evaluating the importance of larger homes, green spaces and connections with the local community. Increased working from home could mean that living in London may no longer be seen as a necessity for finding high-skilled, high-paid jobs.”
PwC also said in its report that it expected a decline of college graduates moving into London in 2021.
“Primarily driven by job opportunities, this pattern of graduate migration may be disrupted in 2021 as jobs are harder to find.”
But on the flip side, there is an inherent need for people to feel connected. To their friends, families and to their work. The isolation and peace that comes with living away from the city may not suit everyone ALL of the time. As such, those that are able to, are looking to keep a foot in both camps.
Whatever the driving factor, an increasing number of people are now acting on gut instinct. Previously, individuals, couples and families would deliberate these big life decisions for months – sometimes years – before taking that big step. The con’s would outweigh the pro’s and the status quo would remain. But no longer.
International buyers, now buoyed by the resumption of international travel, are heading back into the UK. From the US, the Middle East and Asia in particular. And typically these people act quickly. They know what they like and are constantly seeking new opportunities – which will no doubt increase demand and competition in the prime and super prime market further.
But our collective appreciation of time is what has changed the most. No longer do we take it for granted.
In being taken so far out of our comfort zones since the start of the pandemic, we have learned what is most important to us. And in so doing, we don’t want to waste a moment. It is more important to seize the day than miss the boat. And if a change of scene doesn’t work out the way it might be anticipated, then we now know that a new scene could just be around the corner. Waiting to be found.
In The Market
Gaining and never breaking that trust is what we pride ourselves on.
With no exposure and no advertising, we have achieved over £43million in sales over the past 3-4 months – across London and the countryside.
It’s an incredible achievement given the traditional flattening of the super-prime market in the Summer months. Whilst wanting to avoid obvious clichés, it really is testament to hard work, relationships and our trusted little black book of international connections. And nobody works harder than Susannah Fox MRICS
Now that the days are getting shorter, we still have much to look forward to as Winter approaches. Our pipeline is reassuringly strong; international travel is increasingly more possible; and we’re currently busy selling a number of properties very discreetly, off-market right now.
We’re unashamedly proud of where we’ve reached since we launched just over a year ago. But we’ll never take anything for granted. Day or night, anywhere around the world, we will always go the extra mile to facilitate every need.