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

RATIONALE: PrimeResi’s Prime Movers indices are based on independent research and a range of sources – including a survey of PrimeResi Professional Members, which resulted in over 1,000 nominations for individual firms. 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 highly 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 23-strong team remains the most influential and successful operation out there.

Philip Harvey took the reins as Senior Partner in 2018, having first joined over 17 years ago. Based in London, Harvey is now in control of the whole operation as Managing Partner, overseeing 12 partners across offices in London, Ascot and Hungerford. Consistently achieving deal volumes of around £400m per annum, the UK’s most successful and influential aquisition firm is respected by competitors and clients alike, and remains the industry’s gold standard.

The last year saw the firm complete its largest conservation purchase to date, acquiring over 1,000 acres of beautiful Hampshire Downland on behalf of a client, and advising a charitable trust on restructuring their long-held portfolio to produce better future performance. “Every single team member should be proud of their contribution to this years success”, said the management.

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

02
The Buying Solution Buying Agencies

Founded in 2005, Knight Frank’s independent acquisition arm has maintained a dominant presence in the UK buying agency sector.

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.

#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 a hundred years’ experience between them and more than £3bn of property has been acquired across London and the country on behalf of clients since 2002.

The premium service doesn’t stop when the deal is done; clients are offered access to top architects, interior designers, tax specialists and solicitors well after the keys have been handed over. Above and beyond is the approach – the team have made beds, hosted drinks parties and even found a dog breeder for previous clients.

Prime Purchase deals across London and the English counties, while a specialist team manages farm and estate searches. Acquisitions totalling £192m were completed in 2018, with high- lights including a particularly hard-won result in PCL, as the team explains: “We acquired a landmark flat which had sat on the market for over two years at an excessive price. Faced with a dogmatic vendor and an enthusiastic client, expectations required management on both sides and at times the negotiation became fraught. We were delighted our clients took our advice to hold their position, and were able to save £4m on their behalf as a result.” In another notable deal, the firm bought a residential and agricultural estate in the Cotswolds for a longstanding client who had been searching for the perfect property for four whole years. The team made a private approach, and the property never even got near the market. Clients describe the operation as “extremely professional” and “superb to deal with”, with “industry leading knowledge of the best country properties”. “A first class outfit at the very pinnacle of their game”, summarised another.

#Corporate #Acquisitions #London #Country #Agricultural

04
Black Brick Buying Agencies

Camilla Dell’s Mayfair-based advisory was founded in 2007 and has become one of the most recognisable brands in the buying sector. It’s also one of the most successful, acquiring over £70m of property on behalf of clients between April 2019 and February 2020 and selling £20m worth via its managed sale service.

During the course of 2019, 38% of the properties successfully sourced had no online presence whatsoever and were truly “off market”. Cients saved an average of 11% from asking prices.

The team is currently retained by an UHNW client looking to build a £20m buy to rental portfolio in Central London. Opportunities with a minimum gross yield of 3.8% or higher are the target, and recent additions have included a set of six apartments at Islington Square, acquired at nearly 18% below the asking price and expected to produce a net return of 4.8%.

The client has also signed up to the in-house property management offering – all part of what the firm describes as its “seamless service”.

#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 to help clients make the most of their prize acquisition, followed by high-flying former Knight Frank man, John Waters.

“Under the radar is where they feel most comfortable”, said one insider, “but those who dig a little deeper will generally find Robert Bailey Property is behind some of the most prestigious property sales that take place in Prime Central London. “A responsive, supremely polished offering”, concluded another.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #London

06
RFR Property Buying Agencies

Founded by husband and wife team Richard and Sophie Rogerson – both former lawyers at Macfarlanes – this fiercely independent full-service offering hails from an impressive range of professional backgrounds and counts William Drake, co-founder of legendary private investment office Lord North Street, as its Chairman.

The 10-strong Chelsea-based team – recently bolstered by the addition of former Knight Frank star Daisy Page – handles searches right across London and provides ongoing design, advisory and project management solutions to complete the circle.

Despite the challenging climate, revenue from the firm’s property search arm tripled year-on-year in 2019, and we’re not surprised – there are few steadier hands steering a path through these choppy waters.

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

07
Aykroyd & Co Buying Agencies

This hotly-tipped boutique agency, launched by VanHan alumni Hannah Aykroyd and Sophie Bonsor in 2018, has continued to impress amid the well-documented challenges of recent months.

After a flying start that saw the team chalk up nearly £60m worth of deals in its first eight months, the first half of 2019 was noticeably slower, but a busier Q3 and Q4 put the firm back on track to transact on nearly £80m of property over the last year.

Due to client demand, a property management was set up over the Summer, spearheaded by ex-Savills recruit Natasha Willis. ” I feel it is really powerful to be able to fully stand behind the advice we are giving our clients with nowhere to hide,” says Aykroyd. “We have to get it right as for our rental investors particularly, the rental values and yields that we are predicting for a property have to stack up.”

Along with assembling portfolios for HNW clients from Hong Kong and South Africa, the firm also managed to unearth an off-market gem on Notting Hill’s Lansdowne Road for a buyer who had been searching in vain for over a year.

#Acquisitions #Sales #Rentals #London

08
GLP Fine Properties Buying Agencies

The husband and wife team of 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 over 20 years’ experience in the upper echelons of resi and cover the very best parts of central London, as well as making forays out of the capital to secure larger properties in the Home Counties and South of France.

Highlights from the last year included the acquisition of a “beautiful” 20,000 square foot mansion in Kensington – fully off-market of course – and renting two super-prime houses at over £35k per week, along with a “best-in-class” home on an exclusive Surrey estate.

Those in the know describe the pair as “ultra-discreet”, with a “well-established” client base.

#Independent #Acquisitions #London #Country #International

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 make him an instantly recognisable figure wherever a search – which could be anywhere in England and Wales – 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 bespoke search briefs (and media appearances).

His prodigious work rate enabled him to put through £67m worth of deals in 2019..

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

10
Turnbull Property Buying Agencies

Described by his peers as “one of the nicest people in the business”, Johnny Turnbull has spent most of his working life acquiring an unsurpassed knowledge of what he calls “the most elegant parts of London”.

A super-prime specialist, he’s seen every market phase and clients often retain his services over a period of many years. Fellow Partner Samantha Blomfield-Smith caught the property bug over 14 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

11
Nathalie Hirst Buying Agencies

Having cut her teeth relocating senior executives from Goldman Sachs, J P Morgan, UBS and Citibank, Nathalie Hirst went on to do great things at Property Vision and Savills (heading 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.

Describing one of last year’s most memorable successes, she told us: “Buying a property for a client is such a personal thing, and you often see them at their most vulnerable and during a big life change. Last year I bought for a delightful couple who were downsizing after 30 years, from a very large house in Belgravia, and I ended up buying them a flat in Chelsea Barracks. The difference between the two properties could not have been greater: they were going to a large period house to a significantly smaller flat on one floor – but with all the outstanding amenities that Chelsea Barracks has to offer.

I wanted them to have an experience that they could not compare and contrast. For them it was a new beginning and a new chapter, and I was delighted to be part of the process.”

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #London

12
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13
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 resi property 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

14
Garrington Buying Agencies

Founded by TV’s Phil Spencer in 1996, Garrington remains right at the forefront of the industry, with comprehensive coverage and one of the largest client (and staff) rosters on our list.

The 32-strong firm made over 80 acquisitions on behalf of clients last year, and few are doing more to bring buying agency into the mainstream. 2020 saw the brand make its debut in Scotland, where the Edinburgh based team has already made a series of successful acquisitions – and five members of the Garrington team celebrated their ten-year anniversaries working at the firm last year.

MD Jonathan Hopper is 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
Alex Stroud Property Consultants Buying Agencies

Having first worked together at Chesterfields in the 1980s, before the agency was snapped up by Savills, Alex Stroud and Johnny Fuller have since graduated from the latter as two of London’s most respected operators, with a combined 60 years’ experience between them.

Now reunited under the banner of Stroud & Fuller, the dynamic duo acquired and sold over 20 properties last year, with most transactions ranging from £3m-15m. Highlights included sourcing £25m worth of investment properties for a single client.

The firm prides itself on its “truly bespoke and personal service”, and being able to source the best new-build options before they can even get near the open market. Territories covered include Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Kensingon, South Kensington, Holland Park, Notting Hill, Chelsea, St James, Mayfair and Marylebone.

#Independent #Acquisitions #National #London #Sales

16
SP Property Group Buying Agencies

Led by the high-profile Jo Eccles, SP Property Group has successfully evolved from a boutique acquisition outfit into a major player, building a loyal following in the process and garnering praise from clients and peers alike.

The 12-strong team has completed more than 300 prime transactions over the last 13 years – 40% of which were conducted off-market – and counts 65% of clients as repeat purchasers, which speaks volumes about the level of service on offer.

Corporate giants including Hiscox, INEOS, Goldman Sachs and others trust the Chelsea-based firm to carry out their corporate relocations, which now accounts for around 30% of the business, and has led to the rolling out of the ‘Settling in Service’ – a full 360-degree offering that manages all aspects of a move on behalf of clients. The last year saw £62m of acquisitions made, including an off-market house in Notting Hill, secured by the firm at “well below” asking amid some of the most complex set of circumstances we have ever heard described.

Eccles herself is a bona fide expert on the nuances of the prime market, and her views are highly sought after by private banks, wealth managers – and the national press. Clients range from A-list celebrities to FTSE 100 CEOs, financiers, tech entrepreneurs and restaurateurs, hailing from both the UK and countries far and wide, including Israel, Bahrain, the US, Turkey, India, Italy, Norway and the Middle East.

#Acquisitions #Rentals #PropertyManagement #Independent #London

17
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.

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

18
Lichfields Buying Agencies

While many firms tend to gravitate towards the capital’s plentiful period stock, Lichfields has shrewdly carved a niche in the off-plan sphere, and talented director Ed Tryon is said to have acquired more off-plan real estate in central London than any other agent.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #PCL

19
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.

The ten-strong team chalked up 20 acquisitions last year, and matched 2018’s record-breaking turnover, while bolstering its property management arm and completing a move to a new HQ in the country.

#Independent #Acquisitions #London #Country #National

20
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, 15-strong operation, perhaps best known for its encyclopedic knowledge of the country market, but now also establishing itself as a key player in the capital. £90m worth of property was acquired on behalf of clients in 2019, across 24 separate deals, including a notable acquisition at £20m.

The team exchanged on the London mansion in just seven hours, with a higher bidder waiting in the wings. “Middleton always goes that extra mile to find the best property to suit the needs of every client,” said one happy customer; “simply the best in class”….”a safe pair of hands”…”pleasant, personable and charming”, remarked others.

#Independent #Acquisitions #Rentals #London #Country

21
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 over 150 employees operating from eight international offices, Quintessentially Estates is taking on the world, without losing focus on what’s important to clients.

2018 saw the firm open a new heritage-themed office in Belgravia, offering buying, selling, renting, lettings and property management/concierge services, which is designed to “transcend property norms”.

“We sell a lifestyle, not just a property”, goes the mantra.

#Acquisitions #Rentals #Sales #Lettings #PropertyManagement #London #International

22
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, Louisa Brodie went on to roles at Kaye & Carey, Brodie Crammond and Turnbull, before joining Banda to head up the property search division. 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

23
Sterling Private Office Buying Agencies

Founded in 2017 by three former Knight Frank buying agents – Jonathan Mount, Sam McArdle, and Rachel Thompson – this impressive new outfit has already built up a strong presence in London – completing 16 deals last year at a combined value of £48.2m, with a £25m penthouse proving the highlight.

The firm also offers prime country acquisitions via an office run by another TBS alumnus, Nick Mead. Clients describe the founders as “absolute perfectionists” and their firm as a “top class outfit”.

#Acquisitions #Rentals #Sales