All posts by davisbrown

Publicised Fees: Know Your Rights

As ARLA registered Estate Agents in W1, earlier this year Davis Brown attended the London ARLA Regional meeting earlier this year to find out some more information about the changes to the Consumer Rights Bill.  The new ruling declared that all agents must display all fees associated with renting a property.  The idea is to eliminate any confusion about the costs involved with letting and renting and avoid any hidden charges springing up.  Davis Brown are estate agents and chartered surveyors based in London, it is vitally important for us to comply with all legislation and make sure that we are providing the best service to clients and applicants alike.  To make things a little easier for you, we have drawn up an overview of the new rules and what it means for you as the consumer.

Where the fees should be displayed:

All estate agents must display a list of fees at all of their premises where the agent is dealing face-to-face with consumers – for example at our office in Fitzrovia; our fees are displayed in reception to ensure they are easily accessible.   Agent’s fees must also be displayed on the company’s website – as estate agents in W1, our website has a downloadable PDF version so that it can be saved and kept for reference.

How the fees should be displayed:

The list of fees must include all possible charges with a clear definition for each.  For example, vague terms such as administration cost cannot be used and must be explained.  As estate agents in Fitzrovia, we believe our administration costs are fair as they cover the administration associated with the tenancy such as undertaking references and preparing the agreement.

All costs must now also be inclusive of VAT to further avoid any ambiguity over the costings involved.  Furthermore, it must be clear whether the fee is charged per tenancy, or per tenant.

Exceptions:

Sometimes a fee cannot be reasonably determined in advance, for example inventory charges are based on the size of the property and whether it is furnished or not.  In cases such as these, the list of fees should explain how a final cost will be calculated.

What does this mean for you?

The aim of the legislation is to make it clear to both landlords and tenants what costs are involved in renting / letting out a property.  The hope is that agents will be up-front with their fees and charges, which will make it easier for you, the consumer to make an informed decision about the agency you choose to use.

For more information about renting or letting a property in W1, contact our estate agent’s Emma or Sarah-Jane.  

An Interview with David Moon – A Director of Davis Brown, former Chairman of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club and Party Wall specialist

David Moon has been a Chartered Surveyor in London since 1975 and director at Davis Brown since 1998.  He is a highly regarded member of the Party Wall Surveying community.  He is a former Chairman of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club, chair to the Subterranean Development Bill Advisory Panel to the House of Lords and has worked all over London from St James’ Palace to The Banqueting House.  We interviewed him to find out a little more about his career as a Chartered Surveyor in W1.

You began your career as a Chartered Surveyor in Central London working for the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works; can you tell me what your role was?

‘I first worked at the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works whilst on summer break from Leicester Polytechnic and my first office was at Elizabeth House, Waterloo, where I worked on a former Victorian Workhouse among other projects.  I also spent my sandwich year with the Ministry, and was lucky enough to work on the Royal Palaces, particularly St James’ Palace.  After completing my diploma, I started work full time with the Ministry, and moved between a number of offices.  One of the projects I dealt with as a qualified surveyor was the temporary structures that were built to host the NATO and G7 Summits in The Banqueting House, Whitehall in 1977. For this, I was based in Whitehall and it was unique experience.’

When did you begin to specialise in Party Wall Matters?

‘1974, which funnily enough is also the year that the Pyramus & Thisbe Club was founded.  The job was at Monsanto House where works were taking place in the building next door.  At the time, Party Wall Matters only really applied to the London Boroughs and it was not until the 1996 Act that Party Wall Matters were widened to include the rest of the country.’

What is your proudest career achievement?

‘I would have to say my proudest career achievement was being elected as Chairman of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club, which has over 1,200 members and works to advance and promote best professional practice in all matters Party Wall.  I was also happy to win the Henry Stuart Structural Survey prize for a large survey project in Kent.’

Tell me about your role as chair to the Subterranean Development Bill Advisory Panel to the House of Lords.

‘The Subterranean Development Bill is an initiative to better control and regulate subterranean development such as basements.  The Bill unfortunately did not pass as law when it was first introduced, however there is a possibility that the issue may revive in parliament during the term of the current administration.’

What is the most interesting thing about Party Wall surveying?

‘Acting as a third surveyor! It is always enjoyable to help settle disagreements or disputes – it’s an important part of working in Party Wall surveying.’

What do you think are the top five key skills those looking at a career in Party Wall Surveying to possess?

‘Impartiality, an even temperament, an eye for detail, interpersonal skills and the ability to stay calm at all times!’

For more information about our services in Party Wall matters from our contact our Chartered Surveyors in W1.

 

Commercial Agents in London help locate Business Premises

London is a thriving city and therefore an attractive location for businesses of many types and sizes. Whether your operation is already located in London or you’re looking to relocate it here, commercial agents in London will form a vital part of your search.

Why London?

You might be wondering why you’d want to have your business in London in the first place. The fact is that as well as being the capital, it’s also at the heart of the UK’s business and financial world. This means easy access to a range of services and other businesses in the same or similar sectors.

Strong transport links to the rest of the UK and Europe mean that London is easily accessible. Add in the features of the city itself and its potential for entertaining and impressing clients, and you can see why so many companies choose to have either their main location or at least a presence in the London area.

A firm of good commercial agents in London will know the city well and be able to advise on the best locations to suit your particular needs.

Buy or Let?

Once you’ve decided on London as a location, you need to think about whether to buy or rent a property. Partly, this will depend on the nature of your business and your plans for the future. If your company is expanding fast, you may not want to tie yourself into buying a property that you’ll quickly outgrow. In these circumstances, finding a commercial property to let is an attractive option, as it’s easier to move on when you need more space.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a degree of permanence, then buying a commercial property may be the right option and in the long run could prove to be more cost-effective. There is, of course, also the potential for investment buys, allowing you to take advantage of the busy London rental market. Even if you’re looking for accommodation for your own business, you may choose to buy a property that’s larger than you need and earn extra income by renting out the surplus space. Experienced commercial agents in London will be able to advise you on the likely earnings potential of any such arrangement.

Davis Brown has many years of experience handling commercial property in London, and our experienced staff are always happy to discuss the requirements of your business.

Soho: A Guide to the Area

Soho is a charming and unique area of London, which has something to offer everyone – from outstanding restaurants to independent art galleries.   As all London estate agents know, Soho is a highly desirable area to live, offering an array of properties, all differing in style and size to accommodate the needs of all its residents.

Where is it?

Situated just South of Oxford Street, the area of Soho covers roughly one square mile and is cornered by Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square underground stations.

Top Five Facts

  1. Great Marlborough Street was named after Marlboro cigarettes as it was originally the site of the Philip Morris factory.
  2. Greek Street was named after a group of Greek Christians who in 1670 fled persecution in the Ottoman Empire for the streets of London.
  3. Although for a short period of his life, Karl Marx lived in Soho on Dean Street.
  4. The term ‘Soho’ was originally a hunting cry, used by King Henry VIII in the mid-1500s.
  5. Soho’s salacious reputation can be dated back to 1719 when the Duke of Wharton apparently opened an establishment where notable people could enjoy less than tasteful acts

Getting about?

Getting around Soho is incredibly easy – walk! Everything is within a five minute walk and as all estate agents in Soho will tell you, the cobbled streets provide a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of neighbouring roads such as Regents Street.

For those travelling out of the area, there are four tube stations on offer at the NE, NW, SW & SE corners of Soho where lines available are the Bakerloo, Victoria, Northern, Piccadilly and Central.

Things to do

Residents of Soho will never be short of things to do.  For foodies there is an extensive selection of restaurants on offer.  Theatre is another key feature of Soho’s identity.  The area has a total of seven theatres to choose from, including the Palace Theatre which was built in 1891 and some of London’s biggest stage productions are in residence here such as ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘A Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night Time’.  Soho is also host to an array of independent and quirky art galleries, check out 79 Beak Street for unusual and unique exhibitions.

When in Soho, it is a must to take a look around the shops – as estate agents in Fitzrovia, Soho is a continuous temptation!  The area is home to the world renowned Liberty store, along with dozens of unique and quirky boutique, specialist shops.  For example, Nudie Jeans Shop on D’Arblay Street not only sells unique denim, but also has an in store repair service.  The famous Mark Powell tailors also has a store in Soho at No.2 Marshall Street where clients are treated to bespoke, made to measure suits.  Berwick Street Market is another of Soho’s famous spots to shop, where London’s oldest market stall, Ronnie’s Flowers still pitches up every Monday to Saturday.

If you are looking for a more chilled out afternoon, take a blanket and picnic to Soho Square and sit back and watch the world go by.

Hungry?

For an over the top, indulgent evening that’s more of an experience than a simple dinner, head over to Bob Bob Ricard’s.  If you are looking for a more casual and relaxed eat, enjoy bistro with a twist at the highly acclaimed The Social Eating House.

Meet up hotspot?

During the day try a flat white at Flat White on Berwick Street – regularly raved about this café offers a trendy refuel in central Soho.  Soho House Kitchen and Bar on Old Compton Street is the ultimate place to be.  Offering French – American style food, and cocktails on tap, you’ll never want to leave.

Property – what’s on offer?

Soho has a real mixture of residential property to offer.  As estate agents in Soho will know, hidden above the shops there are some incredible apartments with rooftop gardens.  Many of Soho’s streets date back a long way and so properties tend to offer character and history to their occupiers.

As estate agents will tell you, with such a centralised location and an expansive residential portfolio, Soho is an incredibly desirable place to live.  For families, schools are within easy walking distance (e.g. Soho CofE Primary School, St Marylebone CofE Bridge School) and attractions such as Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery are only a short distance.  Young professionals benefit from the huge number of thriving businesses in the area, especially in creative areas such as marketing and television.  Furthermore, due to the large number of restaurants and bars in the area, Soho provides its residents with a social, community feel.

 

For more information about property in Soho and Covent Garden, contact Davis Brown Estate Agents, Fitzrovia.

Step-by-Step Sellers Guide

Selling your house is a daunting task, full of questions and decisions – do I redecorate? How do I find a solicitor? What is the right price? Davis Brown offers a bespoke sales service, and can support you throughout the whole process, from valuation to completion. Davis Brown is a firm of Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents in W1 and is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors so when you sell your home with us you can take advantage of our professional expertise.  With roots dating back to 1901, we feel we have the knowledge and credentials to achieve the best result for you.

To give you an insight into the basic stages of selling a property in London, we have created a step-by-step guide.

Arrange a valuation & appoint an agent                                               

First things first, arrange a valuation with a couple of local Estate Agents in central London.   Our Residential Team can provide sales valuations free of charge and you can call us on 020 7637 1066 to arrange a time and date that suits you.

Preparing your property

EPC’s

It is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate prepared for marketing purposes and Davis Brown Estate Agents can organise this for you.

Dress to sell

Presentation is key and it will really help securing a successful sale.   We have set out below some useful tips and recommendations:

  • De-clutter – remove personal items to create a sense of space
  • Re-decorate if possible – buyers prefer neutral finishes
  • Professionally clean carpets
  • Provide good lighting – use bright bulbs and lamps to lighten up dark areas
  • Soft furnishing – Use bold colours for cushions, rugs, lamps etc.
  • Create as much storage space as possible
  • Take care of any external maintenance including gardens/guttering

We can advise on all the necessary steps prior to letting your property, including furnishing, redecorating, refurbishing. Davis Brown Chartered Surveyors has an in-house project management team who can tailor the project to suit your individual needs.

Prepare your paperwork and appoint a solicitor

Ensure your paperwork is in order to avoid delays when an offer is accepted. Finding a good and reliable solicitor is important to ensure the sale is completed efficiently. Ask family and friends for their recommendations if you are unsure.  Alternatively, Davis Brown Chartered Surveyors London can give some guidance.

Marketing & Viewings

We will propose a marketing plan tailor made to your property.   Davis Brown has access to all the major property portals, such as OnTheMarket.com and Zoopla, as well as our own bespoke website:  www.davis-brown.co.uk. We will prepare a set of colour property details, individual designed to the property. Furthermore, as we are an independent estate agency in Fitzrovia, we also make use of the local community, advertising within local businesses and publications to maximise exposure.

It is important that your property gets maximum viewing exposure so viewing times should be as flexible as possible.  All viewings are accompanied by a member of our staff.

Accepting an Offer

Davis Brown usually first submit an offer to you verbally and follow it up in writing. An offer is not legally binding until exchange of contracts.

If the offer is acceptable, we will prepare a Memorandum of Sale which is sent to you, your solicitor, the buyer and the buyer’s solicitors.   The Memorandum of Sale will state the agreed price and any conditions of the sale.

Your solicitor will prepare a draft contract which will be sent to the buyer’s solicitors with other relevant documentation; for example the lease, details of the service charge.  The buyer’s solicitor will also apply for searches with the local authority.   If the buyer requires a mortgage, you should be prepared for the bank’s valuation surveyor to inspect the property.  The buyer may also wish to instruct structural surveyor.

Exchange of Contracts

An exchange of contracts will take place once the buyer and seller have agreed on the contract and the buyer’s solicitors have received satisfactory responses to their enquires.  If the buyer requires a mortgage, they will need to ensure they have a mortgage offer in place.   The contract will be signed by both parties and the deposit monies, which are usually 10% of the purchase price, will be transferred to your solicitor.   A completion date is then set which is mutually agreed by all parties.

The contract becomes legally binding and neither party can withdraw without paying a substantial amount in compensation.

Organising your move

There is usually a three to four week period between exchange and completion so it is time to start packing up and re-confirm details of your move with the removal company.

Completion

Completion will take place when the remaining monies (usually 90% of the property price) are transferred from the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor and vacant possession is taken.   Your solicitor will call you to confirm that completion has taken place and Davis Brown Estate Agents W1 will release the keys to the new owner!

Davis Brown Estate Agents, Fitzrovia would be delighted to help you achieve the best possible price for your property, and can support you every step of the way.  Contact us to speak to Emma our Residential Manager, or Sarah-Jane our Residential Negotiator.

Party Wall Awards Explained

We have long experience of dealing with party wall matters and other boundary issues between neighbours. With the introduction of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, statutory procedures now apply to the whole of England and Wales. We are able to give advice on a professional footing and to accept statutory appointments under the Act either for building owner or adjoining owner. You must tell your neighbours if you want to carry out any building work near or on your shared property boundary, or ‘party wall’, in England and Wales.

What is a party wall Award?

A Party wall Award allows building owners to lawfully undertake work at or close to the party wall. It is a legally binding document that safeguards the rights of the respective parties and is drawn up by specialist party wall surveyors. The Party wall award is a document which clearly sets out the nature of the works intended and a guideline governing how the proposed works should progress. This protects both parties either side of the party wall from damage, claims and lengthy legal battles.

In the majority of cases the surveyors will produce a written schedule of the relevant parts of the adjoining owners premises called a schedule of condition. This document means that the surveyors have a point of reference and can return to the property after the works have been completed to identify any damage that may have occurred.

What are the costs involved?

In most circumstances, the costs involved in drawing up a party wall award are paid for by the building owner who is proposing to do work as the work will only benefit him or her. There are however situations where fees may be apportioned between the parties, usually when the adjoining owner will derive some benefit from the works.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with any Party wall matters, please contact David Moon or Tony Guergis on 020 7637 1066 for further information.

Covent Garden: A Guide to the Area

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Covent Garden is an iconic area of London, with its vast array of restaurants, shops, hotels and of course theatre.  However as all London estate agents know, Covent Garden also has a superb and diverse mix of residential property to offer.

Where is it?

Just South of Soho, Covent Garden is located in central London, bordered by the City of London and Leicester Square.

Did you know?

As estate agents in Covent Garden can tell you, the name Covent Garden does in fact derive from ‘convent garden’. The area provided much of London’s supply of fruit and veg in the 13th century, and it belonged to the Convent of St Peter at Westminster.

When Henry the Eighth decided to go through with the dissolution of the monasteries throughout England around 1540, the land was given to the first Earl of Bedford. In 1627 the famous architect Inigo Jones was commissioned to build grand houses around the Piazza, which were highly sought after by distinguished gentlemen of the era. As well as these buildings which still stand today, the original cobbles can still be seen on certain streets such as Floral Street. Estate agents in Covent Garden can tell you more about the history of the various buildings which have now been converted to residential use.

Getting about

The best way to get around Covent Garden is to walk – small quiet streets just off the Piazza make for easy short cuts away from the hustle and bustle.  As estate agents in Fitzrovia, we travel on foot to Covent Garden, it’s the easiest way as only residents and locals know their way through the winding streets.

Transport links are also extensive with immediate access to five different tube lines from Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment, as well as regional and national rail connections from Charing Cross, Waterloo and City Thameslink.

The area is particularly convenient for those who work in the City or in the legal profession based around Holborn, as it is easily within walking distance of both districts.

Things to do

Covent Garden is renowned for its theatres and musical venues, including St Martin’s Theatre, which still shows the world’s longest-running production, The Mousetrap. There is also the stunning Royal Opera House, which has been entertaining people for over 200 years, and is also home to the Royal Ballet Company.

Somerset House, a hub of creativity and art is a short walk away and hosts a huge number of events and workshops – in the summer months look out for concerts and over Christmas book in to the famous ice rink.

Spend some time window shopping – whilst Covent Garden is home to some big brands, if you leave the main streets you’ll find a vast selection of unique and independent boutiques such as Christys’ Hat Shop which has been open since 1773.

Hungry?

Newly refurbished, The Ivy is iconic and for those of you wanting to splash out, it’s a must.  For a quicker bit to eat, drop in to Pix where food is served buffet style for you to pick and choose at your own pace.  For a romantic evening, Clos Maggiore is the perfect place to spend the night sampling exquisite French cuisine.

Meet up hotspot

Dirty Martini is the place to be after dark – cocktail lovers can while away an evening sampling a host of different drinks created by the expert mixologists.   Alternatively try the Corinthia Hotel to meet up with friends in the luxury of this beautiful building.

Property – what’s on offer?

Covent Garden has a diverse mix of residential property to offer residents.  As all estate agents in Covent Garden will know, buildings range from modern ex-housing association flats with quirky gardens such as Stedham Chambers, to luxurious apartments on the highly desirable Floral Street where buildings date back to the 1600s.

With such a variety and expansive property portfolio, Covent Garden accommodates families and young professionals alike.  Schools on offer include the St Clement Danes Primary School on Drury Lane and The Royal Ballet School on Floral Street.    Professionals benefit from the huge number of businesses within easy commuting distance, and the array of restaurants to take clients and colleagues.

For more information about properties in Covent Garden, please contact Emma or Sarah-Jane at Davis Brown Estate Agents on 0207 637 1066.

 

The Sanderson Hotel & Berners Street: Through the Ages

 

As all local estate agents will know, The Sanderson Hotel lies in the heart of Fitzrovia and is a modern and structural 1950s building, designed by Slater & Uren.  Boasting luxury rooms, Malaysian cuisine and the Agua Spa, it may come as a surprise to you to know that the original building was opened to celebrate the centenary of Sanderson.  This prestigious, British brand spent the majority of its life on Berners Street, and played a key role in the development of interior design as we know it today.

Davis Brown Estate Agents takes a look into the heritage of Fitzrovia, and the significance of residential and commercial property on Berners Street.

In 1860 Arthur Sanderson established himself as an importer of French wallpapers.  Merchandise was lavish and expensive, full of texture and colour.  Originally based in Islington, Sanderson moved to Soho Square in 1862 and soon became known as one of the biggest dealers of foreign products in England.  Sanderson kept his estate agents busy, and shortly after his first move, in 1865 he re-located to 52 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, and proceeded to spread his empire along the road, renting out development and showroom space.  This small street to the north of Oxford Street was to be the home of Sanderson until 1992.

The expansion of the firm continued to such an extent that in 1879, Arthur Sanderson, commissioned a factory to be built in Chiswick to house the manufacturing of his wallpaper.  By 1895 the company occupied numbers 50-55 Berners Street and was declared to be the largest wallpaper showroom in London. By the end of the 1800s, Sanderson joined the Wall Paper Manufacturers Ltd and controlled 98% of trade, exporting to the British Colonies and the USA.

In the early 1900s, developments in technology and printing enabled Sanderson to be one of the first companies to advertise in colour.  The success continued – not only was another factory opened in Uxbridge, the showroom was again expanded and Arthur continued his monopolisation of Berners Street, Fitzrovia.  However, production was brought to a halt with the outbreak of World War II.  Shortages and paper rationing meant pattern books could not be created, and not long after the Sanderson factories were called up to duty and engaged in wartime production.  The Uxbridge factory was tasked with manufacturing camouflage for aircraft, Red Cross haversacks and was even used for experimental work with anti-radar equipment.  The end of the war saw a period of prosperity sweep across Britain, and in 1946, Sanderson was represented at the V&A Museum exhibition ‘Britain Can Make It’.  Following the show, Sanderson was awarded Royal Warrants and continued to produce outstanding shows at the Berners Street, Fitzrovia showrooms.

In 1960, Sanderson’s celebrated it centenary by moving to the long awaited new offices at 58-60 Berners Street, W1.  The occasion was marked with an exhibition of Sanderson’s work and products.  The new building continued to serve as home to Sanderson, and the company celebrated its 125th anniversary there with another exhibition and a re-vamped showroom.

In 1992 the Berners Street offices and showrooms were closed.  The hotel in Fitzrovia was put up for sale by estate agents and it was not until April 2000 that the newly renovated Sanderson Hotel opened.  The hotel is now in its 15th year, and commemorates its important heritage with bold, colorful interiors and regularly hosting art and fashion events.

Next time you stroll along Berners Street take a closer look at the Sanderson Hotel, Fitzrovia, and feel proud that such an important company called the small road near you, home.

Contact Davis Brown Estate Agents and Chartered Suveyors for more information about commercial and residential property in Fitzrovia.

 

 

Looking to buy a property in London? Here’s our guide

 

Whether you’re in the market for a new home, a pied a terre or an investment, purchasing a property can seem a daunting task.  Davis Brown is a firm of Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents in Fitzrovia with over 100 years of experience in selling clients properties and to give you an idea of what is involved in buying a property we have made an eight point step-by-step guide.

 

  1. Arrange your finances and set your budget

First things first, it’s important to work out how much you can and want to spend.  Speak to a mortgage broker to find out how much you can borrow and ask them to research the market to find the best deal available for you.  You should also consider other outgoings including stamp duty, mortgage arrangement fees, solicitor’s fees etc.

 

  1. Make a wish-list and define your search criteria

Decide what you want from a property – what is it you are searching for? When purchasing property in London there are a few important things to think about: for example, do you want a purchase a freehold or leasehold?  Is outside space important to you?  Do you prefer period buildings or modern buildings?

Davis Brown advise that you book in some viewings with different estate agents – quite often the more properties you look at, the more you realise exactly what you are looking for.

 

  1. Once you’ve found your perfect property

…Make an offer! At this point we will ask for you to confirm your targets for exchange of contracts and completion, along with proof of funds and/or evidence of your mortgage offer. We will then put forward your offer to the vendor both verbally and in writing.

 

  1. Offer Accepted

Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to find a solicitor to prepare the legal paperwork and contact your lender to ask them to progress with your mortgage application.  As a firm of estate agents, Davis Brown will then prepare a Memorandum of Sale outlining the agreed terms which will be sent to all parties.

 

  1. Conveyancing

The vendor’s solicitor will send documentation, including the draft contract to your solicitor.  Your solicitor will apply for local searches and then raise enquires with the vendor’s solicitor.

 

  1. Surveys and mortgage offer

If you require a mortgage, your lender will instruct a surveyor to inspect the property to carry out a valuation.  A formal mortgage offer will then be sent to you and your solicitor following the valuation which you will need to sign before proceeding to an Exchange of Contracts.

 

  1. Exchange of Contracts

An exchange of contracts takes place once both parties have signed the contract and you have the deposit for the property (usually 10% of the purchase price).   Your solicitor will have completed the necessary checks and agreed a completion date is with the vendors solicitors.  At this point, you should start thinking about a check-list of things to do before moving. For example, arrange to have building and contents insurance in place, book a removal van, order items of furniture to be delivered.

 

  1. Completion

On completion, the remaining monies are transferred to the seller’s solicitor and you become the legal owner of your new home.   Your solicitor will tell you when the sale has completed and Davis Brown will release the keys to you.

 

Davis Brown Estate Agents, Fitzrovia would be delighted to help you achieve the best possible price for your property, and can support you every step of the way.  Contact us to speak to Emma our Residential Manager, or Sarah-Jane our Residential Negotiator.

 

Fitzrovia: A Guide to the Area

fitzrovia sdeg

Estate Agents in Fitzrovia often refer to the area as having a metropolitan feel with a bohemian history.  This unique area has so much to offer its residents and Davis Brown have put together a guide with all you need to know.

Where is it?

Fitzrovia is surrounded by Marylebone, Soho and Bloomsbury and sits partly in the City of Westminster and partly in the London Borough of Camden. It covers the area between Euston Road,Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road and Great Portland Street. Landmarks include the Grade I listed Fitzroy Square, as well as the sky scraping BT Tower.

Did you know?

It is thought the term Fitzrovia dates back to the 1930’s and takes its name from the Fitzroy Tavern, a small public house on the corner of Charlotte Street that became the epicentre of the local community. Previously the area was seen as an extension of the West End, however as artists and writers flocked to the area, Fitzrovia took on an identity of its own.  Famous residents such as George Bernard-Shaw, Virginia Woolf, John Constable and George Orwell helped establish the area as a bohemian, creative hub. However it was not until 1994 that ‘Fitzrovia’ appeared on Ordnance Survey maps and the area was officially recognised.   Today, Fitzrovia has over 6,500 residents and is workplace to over 50,000.

Fitzrovia has been home to Davis Brown Estate Agents since the early 1900’s, and it is one of the longest established independent Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors in the area.

Getting about

There are five tube stations within Fitzrovia – Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street, Warren Street and Great Portland Street with access to the Northern, Victoria, Central, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines. Cross rail, due to be fully operational in 2018 will also serve the area, stopping at Tottenham Court Road. All stations are located within zone 1 with an annual travel card costing £1,284.

Things to do

Fitzrovia offers a wealth of different activities and things to do from a trip to Pollock’s Toy Museum or the BBC, to a wander round the Getty Gallery which regularly puts on different exhibitions of its famous photographs. After you could try the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel (prices from £48 per person) or test your knowledge with a pub quiz at The Albany (240 Great Portland street every Tuesday evening).

Hungry?

Whether you are looking for a light lunch or a blow-out dinner, Fiztrovia has plenty on offer. Brunch at the ever popular Riding House Café on Great Titchfield Street provides a fantastic start to any day. Father and son venture Kin on Foley Street is a delicious vegetarian option for lunch time and customers can either eat in or take away. For something a little more exotic, head to Lima in Rathbone Place – this was the first Peruvian restaurant to be awarded Michelin status and it won’t disappoint.

Meet up hotspot

For your daily dose of coffee head to Kaffeine on Eastcastle Street or for those of you cocktail lovers, take a pew at The Reverend JW Simpson on Goodge Street.

What’s on offer?

Fitzrovia has so much to offer its residents, from excellent schools to picturesque parks.  For those of you looking to bring up a family Fitzrovia has several state and private schools, including a bilingual French school.  Fitzrovia also has a variety of parks and open spaces – Regents Park and Queen Mary’s Gardens are a short walk and serve as a haven for cyclists and walkers alike.  All Souls Church Langham Place is a fantastic spot to watch watch the world go by.  If you are looking for some culture, seek out the blue plaques dotted around the streets which feature snippets of local history and information.

Property in Fitzrovia is a diverse mixture of old and new.  Roads such as the desirable Goodge Place are characterised by Georgian townhouses, however more modern developments such as the much talked about Fitzroy Place offer modernity and luxury.  From the Grand Grade I Listed Fitzroy Square to the large sixties council development Holcroft Court on Clipstone Street, property prices are inclined to vary hugely.

Property

A report published by Lonres in December 2014 indicated an 11.4% increase in average price paid per square foot in Q4 2014 compared to Q4 2013.  Fitzrovia has some exciting new residential developments, not to mention Fitzroy Place – one of the newest squares in W1 for over 30 years, boosting demand for the area in both the sales and the letting market.   Goodge Street has subsequently seen some gentrification with its many pop-up restaurants enticing the ‘foodies’

However, I think that most agents will agree that there is some uncertainty in the property market with the run up to the general election.   The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published a report in February 2015 which stated that Chartered Surveyors in London have reported falling residential property prices which is no surprise with a potential ‘mansion tax’, the recent reform on stamp duty and the ‘envelope’ tax.

Historically, it is widely known that property transactions are often lower before a general election; however the RICS reports that on average respondents expect to see prices rise by 2.4% over the coming year and by an average of 4.5% per annum over the course of the next 5 years.

As the old adage goes – buy low, sell high.  These might be challenging times but perhaps a market we should consider embracing?

For more information about properties in Fitzrovia, please Contact us today and speak to Emma our Residential Manager, or Sarah-Jane our Residential Negotiator.