London's Top 50 Boutique Estate Agencies Prime London’s most influential, successful & innovative small sales & lettings agencies

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
Beauchamp Estates Estate Agencies

The specialist super-prime firm founded over 40 years ago by the enigmatic Gary Hersham continues to blaze a trail in PCL – and internationally – completing 56 deals in 2018 with a combined value well in excess of £500m.

HQ-ed at a suitably grand townhouse on Curzon Street, the 21-strong team handles a remarkable portfolio of trophy properties on behalf of the global elite, including many of the world’s most revered residences.

Key locations include Prime Central London, the South of France, Monaco, Tuscany, the Italian Lakes, Mykonos, New York and Tel Aviv, with instructions ranging from ancient palaces to award-winning new-builds.

Working with private individuals and family trusts right up to the highest of echelons, the onus is on exceptional levels of personal care, guidance and considered advice on a one-to-one basis; the client base also includes professional landlords and investors, big-name developers and corporations.

2018’s performance is all the more impressive in the context of one of the toughest markets for many a year; landmark sales included a significant home in Washington DC (sold with three adjacent plots for $69m), along with ultra-prime mansions on Belgrave Square and Mayfair’s Stanhope Gate.

Still the team to beat.

#Sales #NewDevelopments #London #International

02
Aston Chase Estate Agencies

Mark Pollack and Richard Bernstone’s influential agency has been a cornerstone of the Central and NW London market since 1985.

The vastly-experienced 22-strong team punches well above its weight and maintains one of the strongest registers in the capital, stuffed full of high-end houses and, increasingly, the very best new-builds.

Some 50 transactions were completed in 2018, reflecting a combined sales value of just under £250m; no other firm (international or independent) sold more seven-figure properties in St John’s Wood during the 12-month period.

The agency’s ongoing success demonstrates one of the key benefits of independ- ence – agility. Led by Simon Deen, Aston Chase’s New Homes Department has expanded rapidly to become the go-to option for many developers operating in central and NW London, and has successfully represented schemes of the highest calibre, including Dwyer Property’s Hamilton Drive.

Meanwhile, responding to the well-documented shift in demand from high-end sales to rentals, resources have been plouged into the lettings offering; now eight-strong, the team – which includes ex-Chestertons man Ben Sloane, who came on board in March – has grown to generate a third of the firm’s total fee income, with revenue from lettings and manage- ment services up 30% year-on-year. It’s now the number one prime lettings business in NW London in terms of deals done.

Over the last 25 years, co-founder and director Pollack has raised significant funds for Norwood, a leading UK charity supporting children, families and individuals with learning disabilities, and co-chairs one of the most important events in the property calender – the Norwood Property Lunch. He’s also a Director and Board member of both The London Magazine and Fabric, two of the capital’s best-known lifestyle/property publications.

A large and very dedicated fanbase describe the Aston Chase team as “highly professional, experienced and clearly very passionate about what they do”, “a class act” and “on top of their game”, praising the combination of “no-nonsense” advice and a “very personal touch”.

#Sales #Lettings #NewDevelopments #London #International

 

03
Wetherell Estate Agencies

As the internet continues its march on the high street, one firm on the corner of Mount Street stands as a welcome reminder that some things simply can’t be replicated by algorithms and outsourcing.

No one does intricate local knowledge – and by that we mean house-by-house; owner-by-owner – better than Peter Wetherell’s eponymous firm. It’s a key reason why vendors see little point in talking to anyone else when it comes to selling their prize asset.

But while most businesses simply look to raise their own profile, the “Mayfair Guru” has played a significant role in the area’s reinstatement as London’s most desirable neighbourhood. Brand Mayfair has arguably never been stronger, and this very special agency can quite rightly claim a large chunk of the credit, with a recently-published report – “Mayfair Regains The Crown”, highlighting how values in the local market have overtaken Knightsbridge – providing a case in point.

The team has continued to tuck away trophy sales and lettings deals with regularity (“showing strength at the top of the market”), but details, sadly, remain subject to confidentiality clauses.

The firm tells us that British Land’s Clarges Mayfair scheme has been a “great success” on both fronts, however.

#Sales #Lettings #London

04
Russell Simpson Estate Agencies

Celebrating its 40th year this April, family-run firm Russell Simpson is one of the longest-established outfits in Kensington & Chelsea and retains the two most valuable assets a boutique estate agency can possess: a solid gold reputation and good old fashioned values.

Clients praise the team for “redefining the word ‘helpful’”, with others describing the offering as “discrete yet energetic”, “quintessentially English” and “the best level of service in the market”.

The last few years have seen something of a reinvention for the firm as four of Alan Russell’s children – Jake, Leo, Hermione and Bertie – lead the dynasty into a new generation; Hattie Russell (Jake’s wife) is now also in the fold after spending eight years at Knight Frank’s Chelsea office.

An invigorated new approach is clearly working extremely well, and the firm is now a major player in the £5m-£15m market, with increasing involvement in the £30m-£100m range.

But while the super-prime market may bear larger fruit, Russell Simpson’s success has been built on maintaining those traditional values of humility, passion and sheer hard work throughout every single deal; it’s an approach that continues to deliver consistent year-on- year growth, even in the toughest of markets.

In the face of ongoing challenging conditions, the team has continued to impress, putting through £350m in sales across 40 transactions in 2018, while the rental department turned in a record performance.

#Sales #Lettings #NewDevelopments #London #PropertyManagement

05
Glentree Estate Agencies

Founded over 40 years ago and led by the best frontman in estate agency, Trevor Abrahmsohn, Glentree remains the force to be reckoned with in North London.

Dominant in the salubrious NW London corridor, but best known for selling many of the finest mansions on The Bishops Avenue – aka Millionaires’ Row – very few agencies in the world have carved their niche quite so successfully.

Providing a rare blend of institutional reliability with entrepreneurial verve, the 18-strong team is based at “one proud headquarters” on Finchley Road, while Abrahmsohn himself remains a leading authority on the market, at both micro and macro level.

His strong views consistently provoke the industry into vital, healthy debate, and those who follow his writings for PrimeResi will be aware of his rare ability to successfully call market movements many months in advance.

Summing up the offering, one nomination described Glentree as “a successful and highly respected business with a substantial, global brand image, an instinctive sense of what is right and a twinkle in the eye of its owner!”

#Sales #Lettings #NewHomes #London

06
Aylesford International Estate Agencies

The venerable and hugely respected Aylesford International has been based in the same spot on the King’s Road since 1966.

Over the intervening decades, the 20-strong firm has sold more than £20bn-worth of London property and established itself as a major player on the international scene, now operating in ten countries over six continents.

Its Founder and Chairman, Andrew Langton, who remains very much in the driving seat after all these years, is one of the most experienced agents in the business and a fine ambassador for the industry.

In the face of a challenging market, 2018 saw the team outperform yet again, selling £200m worth of prime property ranging from iconic central London houses and apartments to large country estates.

#Sales #Lettings #NewHomes #London #International

07
Rokstone Estate Agencies

Bursting onto the scene in 2011, Becky Fatemi’s mercurial Rokstone has demonstrated a clear understanding of what the new generation of HNW vendors and buyers want from a real estate agency.

Rokstone’s suite of services now includes property sales, lettings and acquisition, access to investment and funding advice, luxury VIP events, celebrity launches and opportunities for joint branding and cross selling in the luxury property, artwork and clothing sectors.

It’s an approach that’s won the firm copious amounts of silverware and a dedicated following in the last five years, resulting in numerous trophy instructions.

The newly-launched rental department had a stonking first year, letting 28 properties with a combined annual revenue of around £5m, and adding a valuable new dimension to the agency – as demonstrated by one of 2018’s standout deals.

The team agreed an offer on a townhouse on Wilton Place at £9.125m – more than £1m above the original valuation provided by other agents – within a week of launch, and went on to arrange a short let at £10k per week to fill the gap between exchange and comple- tion. Shortly afterwards, a new tenant moved in on a long let contract at £5,350 pw; seamless stuff.

The year’s other milestones included a tie-up with European luxury property agency Vingt Paris, which will see both firms work together to market, sell and let luxury residential property across London, Paris and Ibiza.

“Going the extra mile” is a phrase mentioned by many of the firm’s past clients, who also describe the offering as “dynamic” and “extraordinary”. Fatemi herself is singled out for significant amounts of praise: “Even in this market she continues to sell – a magician!”, remarked one.

#Sales #Lettings #London #International #Acquisitions

08
Tunstall Property Estate Agencies

Responsible for some of Prime Central London’s most impressive lettings deals over the last decade or so, Mark Tunstall is the go-to name for those in search of an ultra-luxe property to rent in the capital.

The former boss of Savills’ Super-Prime Lettings Department set up his eponymous firm in 2014 and has gone on to establish a compelling independent offering alongside Murdi van Hien.

The rise of the super-let has emerged as one of the big themes in PCL in recent years, and Tunstall has been at the very forefront; 2018’s tally of 40 new lettings at an average weekly rent of £6,400, with three two-year deals above £25,000pw, is exceptional going, and the firm was behind four of the six lets agreed at One Hyde Park.

#Lettings #London #PropertyManagement

09
Maskells Estate Agencies

Those in any doubt as to the value of estate agents in their local community would do well to meet Walton Street-based Maskells’ fiercely loyal following.

With a 50-year history, an inspired sales team led by Jamie Hope, and some of the most incisive market commentary around, courtesy of Principal and former financier Charles Curran, there’s a palpable sense of pride in everything this firm does.

23 transactions were completed in the year to November, adding up to a total value of over £62m, with a further £24m worth under offer. “Incredibly knowledgeable”, “prolific” and “above all, effective” go the words of past clients and collaborators; “an exceptional boutique agency focused on people and trust”, added another.

#Sales #Lettings #London

 

10
The Modern House Estate Agencies

With a name inspired by F.R.S. Yorke’s celebrated 1934 book that introduced Modern Movement architecture to a British audience, it should be clear early on that The Modern House is no ordinary estate agency.

Rather than focusing on a specific location, the firm sells “exceptional living spaces” throughout the country from its ultra-cool new Southwark HQ, including architects’ own homes, loft apartments, factory conversions, new homes, and “period houses with superior interiors”.

Founded in 2005 by Albert Hill, former Architecture & Design Editor at Wallpaper*, together with Matt Gibberd, former Senior Editor at The World of Interiors, the agency has gone on to represent some of the country’s best-known Modernist masterpieces, including: David Adjaye’s The Lost House in King’s Cross; Augustus John’s former studio in Hampshire; the extraordinary High & Over (“the earliest and arguably the greatest Modern Movement property”); the 1968 house that Richard Rogers designed for his parents, and the late John Winter’s “seminal” house in Highgate.

Impressive sales figures aside, a visually stunning online journal and touches including a perfectly-pitched moving-in box, curated by Faye Toogood and featuring six limited edition homeware items, are making the rest of the industry look rather behind the times.

#Sales #Lettings #London #PropertyManagement

11
Domus Nova Estate Agencies

Founded in 2004 by Rob Atkins and Arnaud Cheung, this 28-strong Notting Hill-based agency is every bit as cool as the many extraordinary properties it has represented over the years.

A clear passion for great design elevates Domus Nova’s offering above many of its peers, particularly when it comes to selling or letting examples of exceptional architecture and interior design. Longstanding HNW clients include several titans of industry – from the worlds of finance, art, photography, tech, film, music, media, fashion, and architecture – which is testament to the firm’s innovative approach, eye for great design, and deep-seated affection for the W2 and W11 postcodes.

Notable instructions over the last year have included Pavilion, a remarkable ten-year project on Pembridge Villas by Gianni Botsford Architects; a townhouse on Leamington Road Villas designed by Thomas Croft Architects; a Stiff + Trevillion project on Chepstow Road, and a converted warehouse penthouse redeveloped and owned by Sir Terry Farrell.

Amongst those successfully sold were a double Victorian villa designed by DOS architects in Brook Green; a contemporary, lateral ex-warehouse loft overlooking Albert Dock in Kings Cross; a reinterpretation of a mews house originally designed by Guy Stansfeld Architects on Notting Hill’s Rede Place, and an architectural warehouse development opportunity on Pembridge Crescent.

November also saw the firm instructed on seven major penthouse apartments at Stanhope’s Television Centre – part of the “Architects’ Series” at the recently-redeveloped former BBC HQ. Meanwhile, the lettings team sealed some impressive deals across west London, including two transactions on Holland Villas Road at over £8,000 per week, and an “exceptional” lateral on Westbourne Grove at £12,000 per week.

The agency’s recently-launched serviced apartment and apart-hotel practice, Saxbury, has been making great strides over the last 18 months, with deals including a boutique apart-hotel lease at the Moorgate and a 34 serviced apartment lease at Scala House in Fitzrovia.

A new Balaeric arm – Domus Nova Ibiza – also appears to be flourishing. Worthy extra-curricular activites include a long-term partnership with youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, and continued fundraising for Nova New Opportunities (a community-centric skills and training centre based in North Kensington).

Another successful year for one of the very few firms able to present traditional estate agency as something truly aspirational.

#Sales #Lettings #London #ProjectManagement

12
Harrods Estates Estate Agencies

One of the oldest agencies on our list, Harrods Estates can trace its lineage all the way back to 1897.

Originally tucked away behind Furnishings on the ground floor of the main Harrods building, the property arm of the iconic luxury brand moved over the road in 1919 and now operates branches on Park Lane and Kensington Church Street.

Providing all the traditional agency specialisms along with access to a whole suite of additional services including Harrods Bank, Harrods Interiors and Harrods Gardens, clients are catered for with the same attention to detail you’d expect from one of the most famous names in luxury.

#Sales #Lettings #London #International #NewHomes #PropertyManagement

13
Tedworth Property Estate Agencies

This brand new boutique agency was launched by well-known agents Christian Warman and Simon Tollit at the beginning of 2018, and has already established itself as a go-to name in the crowded PCL marketplace.

The firm was responsible for a third of all the sales on Eaton Square in 2018, and tucked away some cracking instructions elsewhere, including a townhouse on Earls Terrace for £9.5m.

The early success is unsurprising given the founders’ form in the high-end sector, having held senior roles at top firms including Sotheby’s, Savills and Knight Frank; between them, the pair have transacted on more than £1bn- worth of stock over the last 15 years, and have some of the best contact books in the business.

The team operates from a base just off Sloane Square and covers the whole of central London, with a focus on Mayfair, Marylebone, Chelsea, Kensington, Knightsbridge and Belgravia.

“Christian and Simon are that rare breed amongst agents – brave enough to start up on their own, hugely knowledgable of their sector of the market and driven to get the deal done”, according to one of their many nominators.

#Sales #Lettings #London

14
Nicolas Van Patrick Estate Agencies

Not many agencies can boast a billionaire as part of their management team, but Knightsbridge-based Nicolas Van Patrick is one of them.

Set up by Nicolas Pejacsevich and Patrick Alvarado in 2014 with the backing of John Fentener Van Vlissingen, one of the wealthiest people in the Netherlands, this boutique firm made great strides in 2017 by acquiring one of the best-known estate agencies in Knightsbridge, Hobart Slater.

The decision is “yielding the desired effect”, reports the management team, which is now operating from a shiny new office on Montpelier Street, with a significantly strengthened teamsheet; the lettings book has since been boosted by over 15% and a new block management department has been launched, helping the firm weather the “ever so challenging sales environment”.

#Sales #Lettings #London #PropertyManagement

15
Henry & James Estate Agencies

Founded by Henry Brahm in the 1950s, this Belgravia firm is part of the PCL furniture, in the best possible way.

The business has changed very little in the intervening years, much like the demands of its many well-heeled and high-profile clients, who have included the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Steve Mc- Queen, Catherine Deneuve and Jean Shrimpton.

Now headed up by Pierre Brahm as Chairman and run by the energetic James Bailey as Chief Executive, the team operates from a prominent site on Motcomb Street, advising on selling, renting, buying, managing and investing in property right across the prime postcodes.

#Sales #Lettings #London

16
Wellbelove Quested Estate Agencies

The ongoing success of Grant Wellbelove, Andrew Quested and Grace Jephson’s ten-year-old operation will come as no surprise to those who’ve dealt with the firm.

Operating from a prominent site on the corner of Ebury Street and Eaton Terrace, the team is a dominant force in the Belgravia market, and was responsible for the last three sales at the super-prime Ebury Square scheme.

Jephson was made an Associate Director in the Summer, after a successful two years running the lettings department, and the division claimed the highest-value long let agreed across the entire SW1 postcode last year – at a remarkable £27,000 per week.

“A friendly and a very professional agency, with a deep knowledge of the area they work in”, noted one reviewer.

#Sales #Lettings #PropertyManagement

17
Pastor Real Estate Estate Agencies

Part of the famous Monaco-based Pastor range of companies – founded by Jean-Baptiste Pastor in 1913 – Pastor Real Estate offers clients a full range of services including sales, lettings, property management, development, renovation and re-modelling from two offices on Curzon Street, and a recently-launched outpost on Chelsea’s Elystan Street.

The acquisition of 1st Asset Management in October significantly boosted the firm’s property management department, and added block management to the menu.

#Sales #Lettings #PropertyManagement #London

18
Ian Green Residential Estate Agencies

Functioning predominately in the rarefied markets of St John’s Wood, Regent’s Park and Little Venice, Ian Green’s eponymous agency has been behind many of the area’s most notable transactions since 2003.

The firm managed to sell a villa on Hamilton Terrace twice within the space of six months in 2018, and was involved in one of the most dramatic transactions of the year – the sale of Chelsea’s Cresswell House at £22m, 44% below the original asking price of £37.5m.

#Sales #Lettings #London

19
Louise Hewlett Property Consultants Estate Agencies

One of Prime Central London’s most respected agents, Louise Hewlett set up her own boutique firm after carving out a hugely successful career at Aylesford International.

Now operating under her own name, she has, together with Emma Olivier, established a highly successful boutique operation, transacting on best-in-class homes across the prime postcodes.

#Sales #Lettings #London #Acquisitions

20
Wilfords Estate Agencies

One of the most in-demand agents in Central London, Geoff Wilford set up his eponymous Kensington-based firm in 2011 after generating masses of revenue for some of the industry’s biggest names since the late 90s.

A supremely effective deal-maker (he personally sold in excess of £200m worth of off-plan property between 2006 and 2009) Wilford has, together with co-founder Simon Welfare, firmly established his classy offering as a key player in the PCL marketplace; the team put through ten sales deals with a combined value of £28m in 2018, including a penthouse on Earls Court Square for just shy of £1,900 psf – a cracking result for the vendor under the current conditions.

A Carribbean arm has also been launched to assist clients looking to source, market and sell luxury properties and developments across the region.

“Hugely capable and on top of their game… they punch well above their weight”, said one former client.

#Sales #Lettings #London #Acquisitions

21
Harding Green Estate Agencies

Former Chestertons Director Nick Carter’s new venture burst onto the scene in 2017, promising to do away with the traditional estate agency structure by assembling a band of self-employed brokers operating from a central hub in Kensington.

Some of London’s top agents have since been added to the teamsheet – including the highly-respected Patricia Farley as Sales Director – and the firm managed to put through £45m-worth of sales in its first year, at an average value of £2.3m.

The approach is working “very well indeed” according to Carter, who expects those figures to double next year; clients are full of praise for the customer service, which is said to “rival the very biggest and the best out there”.

#Sales #Lettings #London #Acquisitions

22
Milton Stone Estate Agencies

Sacha Moussaieff and Rupert Carr’s fast-growing operation followed up 2017’s acquisition of Harpers and Harrison by taking on Druce’s long-established branch in South Kensington, more than doubling its let and managed portfolio and significantly boosting its presence in the Kensington and Chelsea sales market.

2018 also marked Milton Stone’s first foray into the St John’s Wood market, where it went on to post sales of £22m. The year’s combined deal tally added up to £63m.

#Sales #Lettings #London

 

23
Kaye & Carey Estate Agencies

“Unconstrained by corporate red tape and geographic boundaries”, this small but highly effective team obtains the vast majority of its business via personal recommendations, which speaks volumes about the service on offer.

The two founding partners, Matthew Kaye and Adam Carey, lead from the front and are very well known on the Prime Central London scene. 2018 marked the firm’s 15th year in business, and market conditions were “not too dissimilar” to those experienced when the firm first opened its doors at the beginning of the second Gulf War, according to the directors.

The firm has reacted by expanding its reach to take in a wider number of postcodes (SW1X, SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10, W8 and W14) and driving the lettings business forward.

The year turned out to be a fruitful one as a result, with 17 deals adding up to a combined value of over £42m.

#Sales #Lettings #London

24
Best Gapp

Based just off Eaton Square, Best Gapp is the oldest firm of estate agents and chartered surveyors in Belgravia, with roots going back some 117 years. Founded when Mr Best, a builder, and Mr Gapp, a funeral director, joined forces and opened an estate agency at No.1 Sloane Square, the business moved to its current premises at 81 Elizabeth Street in the 1950s, from where it has operated ever since.

Ex-Chestertons, Foxtons and WA Ellis man Giles Cook came on board in 2017 as Head of Residential Agency, bringing 20 years’ experience to the table, and has spearheaded something of a renaissance.

A successful rebrand has brought the Belgravian institution bang up to date, and both market presence and visibility have been significantly boosted, resulting in an impressive £42m run of deals over the last 12 months.

#Sales #Lettings #London #PropertyManagement #Commercial

 

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