Don’t worry — play dominoes
Estate agents — stop moaning. That is the clarion call from one of their number, Real Estates, in Totteridge, north London. Properties at the top end of the market — worth £2 million to £5 million — are selling slowly but they are selling. Real Estates has pulled off a series of sales as satisfying as watching dominoes topple other dominoes.
The chain started small. A groundfloor, two-bedroom flat in a purposebuilt development in Mill Hill, north west London, with an asking price of £385,000, sold through Real Estates. Mill Hill is “not, strictly speaking, on the Totteridge radar,” says the agency’s Oliver Ross but the sellers of that flat were able to use the money to buy another Real Estates property, a semidetached house in Oakleigh Park’s Friern Barnet Lane, north London, with a price tag of £775,000.
This freed the sellers of the Oakleigh Park house, who also decided to move up. They bought a large, detached house nearby, on the market for £1.395 million. Another seller with cash in their pocket was able to look for a new home. They EDITED BY CHARLIE JACOBY chose, via Real Estates again, a doublefronted Georgian-style detached house with heated outdoor swimming pool in Totteridge Village, priced at £3.5 million — exactly the kind of property that is currently so hard to sell.
“Each of these successive sales incurred the incremental stamp duty property tax but each purchaser accepting this as unavoidable and made the necessary provisions,” says Ross.
Having done it once, Real Estates’ Totteridge office did it again. It put together another string of sales, starting with a refurbished Georgian-style semi-detached house in Southway, N20, on the market at £1.35 million.
The sellers moved up the road to a refurbished detached house in Pine Grove, Totteridge, a property that was not even on the market at the time.
Ross instigated the sale by approaching the owners to gauge their interest. An on-the-table offer of £4.5 million was enough to fund their move to nearby Harmsworth Way, where they bought a double-fronted detached property that was on the market through Real Estates. “The rest was, as they say, well — not history perhaps but definitely psychology,” says Ross.