Britain's Top 50 Buying Agencies The most influential, successful, respected & connected prime residential property acquisition specialists in Britain

PrimeResi Prime Movers indices are based on independent research and a range of sources. PrimeResi.com tracks notable prime residential deals, instructions and business moves throughout the year, closely monitoring which agencies are involved on both the buying and selling sides. Short-listed firms are given the opportunity to submit a company profile and business highlights from the last 12 months. The rankings are qualitative judgements that attempt to measure recent success and business developments, quality of service, influence, innovation, and reputation within the industry; they are not based on company size or quantity of deals done.

Rank Company Name Specialism View
01
Property Vision Buying Agencies

Excelling at sourcing outstanding properties before they reach the open market, and in negotiating particularly favourable terms for their clients, PV has set the benchmark for buyer representation in the UK since the early 1980s. A steady hand at the tiller through booms, busts and a couple of recessions, the firm remains the most influential and respected operation out there – which is in no small part down to its learned management team. Peter Mackie and Charlie Ellingworth topped our original Prime Movers rundown in 2013, neatly summing up their principle aim as: “To be able to advise a client as you would like to be advised yourself”. Five years on, and deep into yet another market cycle, that still says it all.

A staff roster of 26 includes 12 Partners, and puts the firm amongst the country’s biggest buying operations, with offices in South Kensington serving London, Sunningdale dealing with the Home Counties, and in Hungerford covering country house acquisitions.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Commercial #London #Country #HomeCounties

02
The Buying Solution Buying Agencies

Knight Frank’s independent acquisition arm is another dominant force in the world of buying agency. Run by the seasoned line-up of Philip Eastwood, Jonathan Bramwell and Mark Lawson, clients know they are in safe hands and in pole position for when that dream property comes up. Locations covered stretch across London, the Home and Southern Counties, to the Cotswolds and West Country, as well as farm and estate deals across the UK.

This year the team has negotiated deals ranging from a “very special” country cottage at £800k, a pied-a-terre in Spitalfields and a house in Knightsbridge, through to a large residential estate in excess of £20m. 2017 was about off-market deals, said the firm in December – over 70% of country purchases (up from 50% in 2016) were not publicly available. A pick-up in demand was also noted from international clients buying at the very top of the market (upwards of £10m) including ongoing interest from China, renewed interest from and, to a lesser extent, Russia.

#Corporate #Acquisitions #London #Country 

03
Prime Purchase Buying Agencies

The independent buying arm of Savills is hard to beat in terms of expertise and sheer firepower. Its five directors have over 125 years’ experience and more than £2.5bn of property has been acquired across London and the country on behalf of clients since 2002, but the premium service doesn’t stop when the deal is done; clients are offered access to specialists in many other fields including architects, interior designers, tax specialists, solicitors – the list goes on.

Managing Director Charlie Wells has been in involved with property since 1990 as a qualified chartered surveyor. He is also head of the country team, which deals with country houses, farms and estates across central and southern England. The team has more people on the ground in the country than any other buying agency.

Director Guy Meacock heads the London team and is now widely regarded as oone of the very best in the business. His team covers all geographic areas and price bands in the capital from £1m to £100m.

#Corporate #Acquisitions #London #Country #Agricultural

04
Black Brick Buying Agencies

Cutting a huge swathe through the industry, Camilla Dell founded Black Brick in 2007 and has since demonstrated how to create a recognisable – and formidable – brand within the buying sector. The impressive list of services now offered by the Mayfair-based team includes acquisition (buying and investing), managed sales, hotel acquisition, property development, vacant care, rental search, property negotiation, property management and property concierge.

The business operates across London and the Home Counties, and also reaches internationally to prime hotspots including New York, Dubai, Italy, the South of France and Spain. The team acquired a total of £90m of properties for clients across London last year (to the end of November), ranging from £1.2m to £37m. Of these, 27% were sourced entirely off-market, up from 33% in 2016. 2017 clients saved an average of £257,258 off asking prices, representing 5.9% of the total transaction value.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Sales #Rentals #propertyManagement #London #International

05
Robert Bailey Property Buying Agencies

The first port of call for seriously high-profile HNWs, Bailey is a skilled networker and keeper of one of the most envied black books in the business. PCL development expert Will Hollest came on board in 2014, followed by high-flying former Knight Frank partner John Waters last year.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #PCL

06
Lichfields Buying Agencies

Renowned for its prowess in the off-plan sphere, Lichfields has enjoyed a particularly strong run of form of late. Helmed by the talented Ed Tryon, the firm continues to impress and was responsible for one of 2017’s standout deals – the acquisition of a large freehold house for more than £70m (details of which have successfully been kept out of the public glare).

2017 Success Story: “Having shown a house on Brunswick Place to a Chinese client on 5th November 2016 we nally completed on the £5.3m purchase on 3rd November 2017; two days short of a one year anniversary! While being one of the lower value acquisitions we made in 2017 it was certainly the hardest and took more application and effort than almost any transaction I have worked on. The purchase was made exceptionally hard by the absence of planning information or listed building consent as well as being on the Crown Estate (no Crown consent either), we were paying an exceptionally attractive £1,500 per square foot and I was desperate for a positive outcome. The sense of satisfaction in closing the deal was huge and knowing that the client had got an excellent deal was central to that.”

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #PCL

07
Turnbull Property Buying Agencies

The super-prime specialist, Turnbull has spent most of his working life acquiring an unsurpassed knowledge of what he describes as “the most elegant parts of London”. He’s seen every market phase and clients often retain his services over a period of many years.

Consultant Samantha Blomfield-Smith caught the property bug over 15 years ago at Aylesford International and went on to join Turnbull in 2011 after highly successful stints at Cluttons and Brodie Crammond. Together they continue to set new standards in PCL.

#Independent #Acquisitions #PCL

08
Nathalie Hirst Buying Agencies

After cutting her teeth relocating senior executives from Goldman Sachs, J P Morgan, UBS and Citibank, Hirst went on to do great things at Property Vision and Savills (she headed the firm’s London buying department from 2006-10), before setting up her own consultancy in 2010.

An authority on every element of Prime Central London property, her services are highly sought after and leading law firms often send their very best clients her way.

Hirst has received numerous accolades for her work in recent years and is a seasoned media commentator with a regular column in Metro.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #PCL

09
Henry Pryor Buying Agencies

Pretty much the spokesman for the entire property industry, Pryor’s engaging tone and vast experience make him a dynamic frontman and one of the best acquisition specialists in the business.

Regular appearances on breakfast TV sofas and a wildly popular Twitter account ensure he’s an instantly recognisable figure wherever a search takes him. Pryor has an enterprising approach to the business, offering a realm of services – including £600 “Pocket Agent” and £100 “Quick Check” packages – alongside traditional search and acquisition.

A typically jam-packed 2017 saw him give over 100 radio and television interviews, feature in more than 300 press articles, and advise clients on the purchase of 82 homes across five countries.

#Independent #Acquisitions #London #National #International #PocketAgent

10
Haringtons Buying Agencies

In an industry where experience really counts, Haringtons has the benefit of two of its most established and respected personalities. Jonathan Harington set up Lane Fox’s buying arm in 1986, while Saul Empson began his career in the London market in 1985. It’s said that what they don’t know about prime residential property probably isn’t worth knowing.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #London #Country

11
Heaton & Partners Buying Agencies

The top-end consultancy set up in 2013 by the vastly experienced Ed Heaton – formerly of Property Vision, Savills and Beauchamp Estates – has expanded rapidly to become a purchasing powerhouse with coverage across London and all Southern counties.

An exceptionally strong buying team now includes alumni from Property Vision, Savills, John D Wood and Knight Frank.

Ed Heaton’s review of the year: “2017 was an extraordinary year and probably the toughest I have experienced in the last 30 years. As a firm we have the best book of clients we have ever had and our pipeline is extraordinarily healthy.

“The country market continues to suffer from an extreme lack of stock, although this is where we have been able to add real value to clients by being able to unearth gems that no one else has known about. However, despite this there has been a combination of apathy, uncertainty and indecision from many clients which has made putting deals together harder than at any time I can remember.

“Interestingly, whilst the country market has been tough, our London business has performed much better. This has been entirely from international clients who see the combination of both a drop in currency and prices as an opportunity to buy.

“I am actually remarkably upbeat about our prospects for 2018, simply because of the volume of serious motivated clients we are acting for. I predict the market will still be tough, but with determination and resolve there will be plenty of opportunities for good operators like us.”

#Independent #Acquisitions #London #Country #National

12
RFR Buying Agencies

Founded by husband and wife team Richard and Sophie Rogerson – both former lawyers at Macfarlanes – this firm-on-the-ascendance hails from an impressive range of professional backgrounds and secured the services of William Drake, co-founder of legendary private investment office Lord North Street, as Chairman.

Now 16-strong, the team handles searches across London, from PCL to the surrounding emerging markets and wider family areas from its Chelsea HQ.

2017 Success Story: “Referred to us by a leading private bank, we have developed a very strong relationship with an UHNW Latin American family and their advisers, having bought family houses for each of the daughters in the past two years in Holland Park and Notting Hill respectively. Off the back of this, we were retained by the mother to find and secure a substantial lateral property also in RBKC. Our Project Management and Interior Architecture & Design teams have managed the refurbishment of each of these properties and they are also involved in the interior design of the daughters’ respective country houses.”

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #ProjectManagement #PropertyManagement #Design #London

13
GLP Fine Properties Buying Agencies

The extremely discreet brokers behind some of London’s biggest off-market house purchases, Giuliana La Pera Davies and James Davies operate well below the radar and have a loyal following of UHNW clients.

Established players, they each have 20 years’ experience in the upper echelons of resi and operate in central London, as well as making forays out of the capital to secure larger properties in the Home Counties and South of France.

#Independent #Acquisitions #PCL #Country #International

14
Garrington Buying Agencies

Founded by TV’s Phil Spencer in 1996, Garrington remains at the forefront of the industry, with comprehensive coverage and one of the largest client (and staff) rosters on our list. The firm boasts local knowledge and teams in most UK regions.

MD Jonathan Hopper is also a leading player in setting buying agency industry standards, as a board member of The Property Ombudsman, representing buying agents, and a council member of the Association of Residential Property Finders.

#Independent #Acquisitions #National #London #Country #International

15
London Central Portfolio Buying Agencies

Going far beyond the remit of a traditional buying agency, London Central Portfolio (aka LCP) provides clients with a “holistic approach” to asset management, including property sourcing, renovation, interior design, letting and management – all underpinned by sophisticated financial modelling and handled under one roof.

The firm acts for individual investors, as well as offering “highly tax-effcient” conventional and Sharia-compliant property funds, and currently has $1bn of assets under management.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Lettings #Investment #Refurbishment #PropertyManagement #PCL

16
Alex Stroud Property Consultants Buying Agencies

Having spent 17 years as a Partner at Chesterfield and three years as a Director at Savills, Stroud set up his own independent consultancy in 2010.

Renowned for giving a highly personal and attentive service, he relies solely on referrals from previous clients. The mark of a great buying agent, he remains extremely active during downturns in the market.

The majority of his acquisitions are between £3m and £10m, and he averages between 12-15 of them a year, making him one of the most active buying agents in Prime Central London. The main core of business is acquiring perfect pied-a-terres, which usually range between £2-5m, but recent success stories have included a “fabulous” flat in Chelsea at £6.5m, and “the most amazing” low built house in Holland Park, acquired for £10m off-market (as are about 65% of his deals).

#Independent #Acquisitions #PCL

17
Quintessentially Estates Buying Agencies

The sister company of concierge pioneer Quintessentially promises clients “access to the inaccessible” and manages high value searches in the most glamorous of destinations, including New York, LA, Hong Kong, Portugal, Monaco Switzerland and Dubai. With 150+ employees operating from eight global offices, Quintessentially Estates is taking on the world.

#Acquisitions #Rentals #Sales #Lettings #PropertyManagement #PCL #International

18
The Collection LLP Buying Agencies

Caroline Takla’s multi-award winning operation looks after HNW clients from 41 different countries, including royalty, Forbes-listed billionaires and Bollywood stars.

The Mayfair-based firm offers an in-house Vastu Shastra consultancy to cater to Indian buyers, and Takla herself is fluent in Arabic. 80% of new business is referred in by previous clients.

A dedicated property development service was launched this year in response to “high demand” from clients and the new venture – One Point Six – is off to a flyer, already managing over £25m worth of residential projects.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Sales #Development #PropertyManagement #London #International

19
Charles McDowell Property Consultants Estate Agencies

A titan of the HNW scene, Charles McDowell is prime through and through. Chelsea, Belgravia, Mayfair, Kensington and Knightsbridge are very much his patch, and his contact book is the envy of everyone in the industry.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Sales #PCL

20
Banda Property Developers

Founded by the dynamic Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in 2007, Banda Property has evolved into a key player on both the development and acquisition scenes. This means clients have the immeasurable benefit of an in-house development arm, responsible for delivering some of London’s best new boutique schemes.

After starting her career at Savills, Banda’s Head of Private Client Search & Acquisition Louisa Brodie went on to roles at Kaye & Carey, Brodie Crammond and Turnbull, before joining Banda. With over 15 years experience, she has a wealth of knowledge and a detailed understanding of the machinations of London’s prime property market.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Development #Design #London

21
GWD Property Consultants LLP Buying Agencies

The dynamic trio of James Geddes, Deborah Walker and Hugh Dixon decided to go it alone in April 2016 after working together at Private Property Search, and now cover central and south west London as GWD Property Consultants.

The team’s first full year in business has been a resounding success, with highlights including the winning of a major global HR relocation contract following an impressive acquisition at a boutique PCL scheme, and the unearthing of some true off-market gems.

2017 Success Story: Deborah Walker wrote to an owner who was thinking of selling next year, and her clients were the only people to see the “very special” house. She went on to broker the deal between the buyers and sellers as no agents were involved. The value was between £15m and £20m but all parties had to sign an NDA valid until after completion.

#Acquisitions #Rentals #PropertyManagement #PCL #PropertyMonitoring

22
Middleton Advisors Buying Agencies

Mark Parkinson and Tom Hudson founded their firm on five watch-words: focus, independence, trust, diligence and knowledge. On these admirable aims has been built a highly-respected, 14-strong operation, perhaps best known for its encyclopedic knowledge of the country market, but also establishing itself as a key player in the capital.

Middleton carried out its two largest deals to date in 2017 — a residential sporting estate in the country and a large London house — both sourced off-market.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #London #Country #HomeCounties

23
Pereds Buying Agencies

Lots of agencies claim to be experienced, but 2017 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of Pereds – the first property consultancy in the UK to specialise in residential acquisition. Perry Press and Ross Ward’s legendary firm continues to quietly buy – and occasionally sell – some of the best homes in London and the country.

Success Story: “Acquiring Friar Park, Henley-on-Thames – back in 1969-70 – was a coup on many levels: buying off-market, rescuing an extraordinary property from developers; not to mention, best of all, the lifelong joy it brought to the client.”

#Independent #Sales #Lettings #Acquisitions #Rentals #London #Country

24
BDI Home Finders Buying Agencies

Shrewd, witty and downright hilarious, Tracy Kellett’s musings on her often eccentric clients – published on blogs, in newspapers, in PrimeResi, and even turned into a book – have made her famous, but as a thoroughbred buying agent, there are few that can hold a candle to her.

From a Wiltshire base, Kellett and consultants take on searches for a broad spectrum of international clients across London, South East England and the Cotswolds.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #London #Regional

25