Trend Spotter

The Magical World of London Property

The phrase “America sneezes and Europe catches a cold” could herald an omen.  Certainly given the utterly mad current state of things…  However as Newton’s third law teaches us; for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  For the purpose of trying to remain relevant in my often wandering diatribe, the world works…

Let’s Get Together – Right Now!

A long time ago it was the dinosaurs and over the past two hundred years of the new ‘industrial age’, rates of extinction have multiplied as huge numbers of species have disappeared.  These are all manner of animal – and in vast quantities; mammal, fish, insect, bird and reptile which were the product of millions…

Call to Action

Never has so much been done by so many with so little to show for it. These could be the words of a major statesman after capitulation in battle. The property sector in central London is at war and the front-line troops need to be properly equipped. These are the people who define the property…

Christmas Orange

WHAT A STRANGE year. I’m  not going to mention all the now heavily clichéd events that have rocked our world, but rather focus on the positives. Having eaten an unhealthy amount of oranges during this Christmas period, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss all the varieties of our miniature orange friends: tangerines, satsumas, mandarins…

The Future’s Bright

I am an eternal optimist and am therefore becoming tired of all the negative news in the papers. Despite the ups and downs reported, there is only one direction that we are going in and that is forward. It is mankind’s instinct to iron out the vicissitudes and make this a better world – and…

The Skewed World of Estate Agency

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme recently banned the malpractice of ‘portal juggling’. For those of you who don’t know, this is the re-leasing of a property listing by an agency on one or more portals, of a property the’re already listing. It’s a way of trying to dupe the public and make a property look…

Great Expectations

Being a Londoner through and through – I have lived here for some 50 years now – nothing is closer to my heart than the success of our great capital and particularly the highly productive Square Mile at its very heart. At University, I majored in economic history so I hope that I am qualified…

The Future Shape of Property

Since I opened Crayson in 2010 there have been 23 incidents of increased tax and regulations on property.  The press has had countless column inches taken up by commentary and opinions relating to property taxes, increased regulations for non-doms, inheritance tax, and so on.  What to do?  Lobby the government, moan or sit back and…

Into the Light

I don’t want to be political in these deeply divided times, but I will be candid. I voted to Remain and was disappointed by the result, but I am a pragmatist. It is important to look at the bigger picture. Up until recently, the vicissitudes of the central London market were dominated by the sizes…

The Perfect Storm

There have been several major government policies that have directly impacted the UK property market in the past few years, from mansion tax and stamp duty rises to the most recent EU referendum. All of the different outcomes have had, and will have, direct consequences on society, and whether these are positive or negative depends…

Home Sweet Home

How do you see your home? To many it is just a debt trap that has sucked up too much cash as equity.  Property does not behave like any stock or financial instrument – its unpredictability can create distrust and even fear. Any local oligarchs buying their £5m mansion will have to cough up £513,000…

Brexit or Breakfast?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin” (Matthew 6:28).  This excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus told his followers not to worry –  that they would be provided for in abundance. In the 20th Century, 2,000 years after the birth of Jesus why…

Supply & Demand

China’s economic slowdown in 2015 was the greatest in 25 years.  According to The Wall Street Journal, China’s GDP grew 6.9% last year, with some economists predicting a tougher year in 2016. Having the second largest economy, this is likely to cause concern among investors the world over. The rouble has weakened significantly against GBP and all other…

The New Paradigm

There is a giant schism opening up in the property world.  Estate Agency – as we know it, is moribund. Could it be that I am prone to catchy sound bites or is there a genuine shift in the property marketplace? I will put forward two very different sides to this, both of which I…

Property & Technology: The birth of the silicon brick?

The amount of column inches taken up by ‘property’ is at an all-time high. In my mind there are two major contributing factors: the importance of property value to those who own property (often their main asset) and the increased transparency and accessibility of rich property data available to the public. I can’t think of…

Space Time

Have you ever picked up the phone to call somebody and found that they are already there, having rung you at the exact same moment? Do you ever think about somebody and wonder if they are thinking about you at the same time? Do you ever get the feeling that there is someone or something…

Back to the future

It’s another year and the property research teams are predicting the future again. There has been much attention given to the development and future of estate agency, with a host of conjecture focusing on the alleged rise of the online agency model and its threat to traditional high street agency. The most recent news has been…

Investment Focus

In October Crayson opened a new ‘Investment’ division which is headed up by Peter Jenkins who was recruited from the financial sector in Hong Kong.  As the London market and goal posts change we are being innovative at the way we look at our involvement in London property and are expanding in a non-traditional way….

Cross the line

With the vast improvement in transport links to and from London and the constant rise in property prices, is the capital at risk of becoming an elitist destination? Nick Crayson, founder of Crayson, considers. WHY DO PEOPLE live in London? I love the countryside, but I think that I would go insane if I had…

Social Immobility

Most industrial nations can attribute much of their economic success to their abilities to mobilise a work force and move them to where they are most needed. The ‘Industrial Revolution’ of the UK was down to our ability to mechanise agriculture and release vast numbers of workers to train in burgeoning industries. In order for…

A Letter to Mr Osborne

For once, buyers, sellers and estate agents and most people in property are aligned. Everyone is suffering with the 70% increase in the highest band of Stamp Duty Land Tax. However – more significantly for the country as a whole – it is Her Majesty’s Treasury which is really feeling the sting. I am accounted…

The Psychology of Property

Trying to work out still what moves the property market?  Upwards or downwards – it has been landmark events that have played on the London property market for the past number of years.  From the excesses of the bankers bonuses in the noughties, to the ensuing stock-market melt-down, the ‘Arab Spring’ and the Euro-Crisis.  Domestically…

Market Intelligence

There is certainly more buyer activity than we have seen for over a year and this only really showed itself from 1 June, right after the half-term break. We are seeing a surge in viewings and buyer registrations and an increase in offers at more sensible ad less speculative levels. In the house market we…

The Hummus Trail

I am just back from travelling in The Holy Land and entrusted myself with the propitious task of finding the best hummus money can buy.  Sometimes spelt houmous, hummous, hoummos, humos hommus and hommos… not to be confused with….. the dish has been around for millennia. But why does hummus matter?  It’s just a blend…

The Election Oracle

I am in search of a crystal ball – if anyone has one!  So many people want to know the outcome of this May’s General Election. I mean if I knew, what wisdom I could impart to my current and future clients… I really could be the Sage of Notting Hill. Why are people so…

A Win for the Bricks

I am sitting at my desk at Crayson at 8am on the 8th May having been up all night watching the results of the UK General Election unfurl. I felt that this election was fundamental; not just for the future growth and development of my company, but for its very survival. The conservatives have won…

Inside Property’s Mind

In a recent study scientists have looked into the machinations and behavioural patterns of property prices and have come to the stark conclusion that property has a mind of its own. What a revelation! An ability to stare into the ‘property crystal-ball’ and gain a clear insight into the vicissitudes of the London market would…

London Bashing

Since I started Crayson I have seen the top rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rise from 4% to 12%. That’s a stunning 300% increase in just four years. But am I moaning? I am  not against the principle of paying tax when it is spent wisely for the greater good. But I think…

A Fresh Start

Many of us use the Christmas and New Year break to re-evaluate things, take stock and make plans for the year ahead. It is a great time to see how we feel about the previous year and what changes we can make to advance further towards our goals. I am not going to use this…

Happy Thoughts

This morning was the first day that Jack Frost has appeared this year.  I walked through Kensington Gardens with my dachshund this morning on the way to work and everything was covered with a beautiful thin white sheen.  On the streets, mothers getting ready for the school run were scraping windscreens, whilst their progeny shivered…

Mansion Makes Smash

If I had £1 for every time somebody asked me about ‘Mansion Tax’ ……… Surely everyone must be getting bored rigid with all the speculation about what a possible future government might or might not do when it comes to property taxes. I have been doing dome research of my own – asking local residents…

The Here & Now

This country is still ruled by a military junta, effectively the same junta that was responsible for the mass slaughter of protestors rallying against the brutal rule of U Ne Win in 1988, when men, women, children and monks were slaughtered indiscriminately. A change of clothes allows Thein Sein, an ex-general, to be President. The…

Home and Away

Is anyone there? I love being in London in August. Locally I can get an instant table at Granger & Co. and in some of the stuffier places in London they even seem happy to tell you that they do have a table available for that evening and I don’t even have to pretend to…

Price Pressures

As spring turns to summer, the market in our area of prime London remains relatively buoyant. Average values achieved so far this year are almost 13% higher than they were a year ago, with the number of properties sold up 17%. Despite the strong market conditions and vendors continuing to benefit from the number of…

Is the market as hot as the weather?

The summer Market Intelligence from Crayson tracks property values and trends, and gives in-depth, incisive facts and figures on the property market in the Notting Hill, Holland Park and Kensington areas. Highlights include: Demand remains strong: Despite mixed messages on the health of the housing market, demand for property in our area remains strong. Over…

Buy a house – and invite the nation in to look around

Whoever buys the Brick House,  a high profile one-off project by the acclaimed architects Caruso St John that was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, will have a big decision to make come the autumn.  Will they open their door on 20/21 September and welcome upwards of 100 strangers to their home? Each year since it…

Bubble – or recovery?

If you choose the right statistics, it’s easy to make a case for a housing bubble. Prices nationally are 5.3% higher than a year ago, the highest since July 2008; London prices up 13.8% on last year; and there are forecasts of national prices rises of 35% by 2020. These figures certainly suggest a rapidly…

House doctoring – the naked truth

As a seller, you need to know you’ve done everything in your power to get the best price for your property; if you don’t, you’ll kick yourself. So stand back, take a look at your property as though you’re seeing it for the first time, and invest some time and money in polishing it up….

Forecasting Growth – nuts and bolts!

Every year economists, think-tanks, research teams forecast growth.  With the prime central London market increasingly tied to the fortunes of the global economy, forecasting how our market will perform has become increasingly difficult. Forecasters have often based their predictions on performance over previous economic cycles but are now having to contend with global, as well…

Future-proofed

Happy new year – Crayson’s fourth! What started as an experiment in 2010, an unconventional agency, with absolutely no high-street presence, has turned out to be something of a triumph. Many said we were completely bonkers and that it would never work. We did not, and still don’t, get involved in the sale of properties…

Diamonds in the sky

For weeks this autumn, every clear evening has been graced with a bright and beautiful Jupiter, rising in the eastern sky. Apparently conditions on this gaseous planet are just right for crushing carbon in such a way as to produce diamonds – and plenty of them. Scientists are speculating that Jupiter, and another gaseous planet…

Autumn property facts, figures and statistics

Leaves turning colour, socks and boots, fur-lined jackets……and the Autumn Market Intelligence from Crayson. In-depth incisive information on what is going on in our delightful part of London (W14, W11, W10, W8 and W2). The report tracks property values and trends in the area and also picks up on hot topics such as Mansion Tax….

Home to roost

This is not just a picture of a giant blue cockerel in Trafalgar square – for me this fertile beast and its placement in the heart of our Capital epitomises the fact that London is an extremely good place to roost. We have some eggcellent new nests and perches for sale, so if you’re hatching…

One size doesn’t fit all

‘Discreet marketing’ is an unlikely phrase that has become part of the estate agents’ vocabulary in recent times. It refers to the quiet marketing of a property – no advertising, no presence on the website, no for sale board, no PR; but the property is very much for sale. The only buyers who know about…

Top end of the prime London market performs best

Across the Kensington, Notting Hill and Holland Park areas (W2, W8, W10, W11 and W14) prices and transactions have been rising steadily over the last 12 months. Prices have risen 7.9% in the last 12 months across our area, with homes in Kensington, Westbourne Grove and Bayswater performing particularly well. Here prices per square foot…

The Baguette Index

In a very recent survey the distribution of baguettes was found to vastly outstrip the supply of the traditional English sliced loaf – in certain parts of London. London is home now to over 400,000 French nationals and it is now the fifth largest French city in the world and this is the reason behind…

Foot in mouth

With news that a London flat’s being sold in cubic feet, it’s time to run for the hills, argues guest blogger Cheryl Markosky Okay. The world’s gone completely mad. Apparently it’s now commonplace (well, as common as it can be at the luxury end of the market) to tot up and charge for the cubic…

Market intelligence highlights

Our in depth summer Market Intelligence can be seen here, but for those who prefer their data summarised, here are the highlights: Key statistics for this area for the first half of 2013: –          27% of sales over £2m –          22% increase in £ per sq. ft. since 2010 –          229 new instructions per month…

Rock dust, light star: a date for your diaries

11th August promises a natural light show for anyone lucky enough to find themselves under dark cloudless skies, and in a good position to have a wide view of the heavens. At its peak, The Perseids meteor shower reliably produces up to 100 ‘shooting stars’ per hour, caused by the Earth passing through the dust…

Save the bees

The bees are dying. In the 1950’s there were 50 native species of bee in the UK, today there are just over 25. Honey bees are the number one insect pollinator on the planet, responsible for the production of more than 90 crops. The British Beekeepers Association’s (bbka.org.uk) June report highlights that more than a…

The light fantastic; letting the sunshine work its magic

We know people make up their minds about a property within a few seconds of walking in, and much of this perception is subconscious. The feel of a property is all to do with proportions, space, light and aspect. People don’t think, ‘I love this room because it’s got a triple aspect with big windows…

What makes prime property prime?

Prime central London property’ is the buzzword amongst buyers – many of them increasingly from overseas. Amid economic Armageddon, increased stamp duty, and property prices falling in numerous areas and sectors, ‘prime central London property’ has continued to perform in a way that bears little or no relation to the rest of the property market….

The truth about international buyers

It’s a common misconception that overseas buyers are purchasing in London remotely, using overseas offshoots of UK property companies to source and buy properties. Whilst this may be the case with new schemes launched overseas, in our experience the vast majority of prospective buyers are coming to us directly, either in person or through a…

The devil is in the detail

What makes a property stand out in a city and a property market where so many flats and houses are refurbished to a stratospheric standard? Expectations have become so high that impressing a well-versed and sophisticated buyer can be beyond challenging. But unexpected details make all the difference. So it is in this immaculate refurbishment…

Spring property report

The magnolias and the sun (now and then) are out, and so is our quarterly property report, providing a detailed overview of the property market in W14, W11, W10, and W2. It’s online here, or in print from our office in Lambton Place. You can give us a call on 020 7221 1117, or drop…

The Notting Hill market exposed

Just out and fresh off the press, our latest market intelligence delving into all the property facts, figures, statistics and inside knowledge that we have to offer on this lovely part of the Capital including W14, W11, W10, W8 and W2. The pace of change in the buying demographic is breath-taking – some may be…

What makes ‘prime’ property prime

‘Prime central London property’ is the buzzword amongst buyers – many of them increasingly from overseas. Amid economic Armageddon, increased stamp duty, and property prices falling in numerous areas and sectors, ‘prime central London property’ has continued to perform in a way that bears little or no relation to the rest of the property market….

Not on the high street

Where’s your spirit of adventure? Venturing off the beaten track can reap benefits, argues our resident blogger Cheryl Markosky. Although many people like supporting our dependable High Streets (and quite right too – go Mary Portas!), there’s a case for sometimes daring to swerve off the predictable path. There are advantages to being one step…

St James’s Gardens – mind the aposhtrophe

Now, you have to admire an address that’s rigidly precise when it comes to the correct use of the apostrophe. None of this pitching pesky punctuation, as Waterstones recently did, to the horror of London’s literati. Fussiness about retaining an apostrophe in St James’s Gardens neatly reflects the sort of homeowner on this hushed 19th…

Doing things differently

The perceptive amongst you will have noted that our newest property on the market, Zachary House, is a little outside our normal operational zone! True enough, most of the properties we take on are within a three or four mile radius of Crayson HQ in Lambton Place, but as with everything it is the exception…

Cool school families

Forget The Brady Bunch and The Waltons. Forget smiling robot-mums in red-and-white checked aprons and slippered dads with pipes clenched between their teeth. And forget their perfectly freckled and faultless offspring. Notting Hillbilly families are anything but the nostalgic nuclear unit of yesteryear. City sophisticates, but still with a delightful dollop of cheekiness, the youth…

Feel the love

I seem to remember a few weeks ago that I would not, repeat NOT, bang on about the Olympics. Well, I’m sorry, but like so many others, I’m swelling with pride at the incredible job that we have done in hosting the Olympics, and yes I am talking about me, you, Boris and Seb –…

Summer market intelligence

Well, we thought about calling it something else, ‘third quarter report’, or ‘monsoon property report’, but in the end went for optimism and a traditional label. We remain positive that hope will, eventually, triumph over experience! Prices rise….. Despite the lack of sun, London’s housing market continues to be bright when compared with the wider…

Cool-hunting – Chepstow Place

Clash and match – fake and real, flowers and stripes, the Kindle and the paperback – is all the rage. A place where the bish and the bosh come together is the rather unprepossessing Chepstow Place, tucked off Chepstow Corner, and nestled between Notting Hill and Westbourne Grove. The yin is there with fashionable Farrow…

Crayson exceeds expectations – again!

The Crayson team was cock-a-hoop to hear that Giles Barker had completed his Marathon in 3 hours 49 mins, obliterating his target time of 4 hours 30 minutes. HUGE congratulations to the man who describes himself as having an unwavering aversion to sweating! His target fundraising of £1,750 now stands at £1,895….and counting! You can…

Spring sales

Spring is traditionally the time when the London market stretches itself and wakes up properly. 2012 is no exception, as can be seen in our latest market intelligence report. Notting Hill and Holland Park prices are now, on average, 13.5% higher than the previous 2007 peak (Lonres). But it’s interesting to see how this breaks…

Quick sale in Talbot Road

Who wants two bedrooms when you can have one? The owner of an urbane apartment in Talbot Road, W2, went for best-factor rather than guest-factor when he converted the existing two bedroom flat into an extremely stylish and spacious one bedroom pied a terre. And then set about decorating it in the most sophisticated style….

7% Stamp Duty will squeeze the market

Property above £2m has effectively just gone up in price by 2%. Already expensive property has just got a bit more. However property in our market has consistently outperformed over the medium and long term and – although the costs are now higher – no doubt homeowners will recoup these costs over time. What is…

Winter words of wisdom

At the time of our autumn report, there was much debate in the office about which season we were technically embraced by. No such doubt now. With the thermometer reading -5C, and snow due to fall in the next couple of days, we are clearly in the grip of winter. Our winter market intelligence report…

Clarendon Road, W11

Running parallel to Ladbroke Grove, two streets to the west, Clarendon Road is one of the most prestigious addresses in Holland Park. The wide and tree-lined street stretches through the heart of this thriving area, joining Holland Park Avenue at its southern extreme. Residents have the advantage of a relatively quiet street location, combined with…

A big welcome to our new blogger – Cheryl Markosky

Cheryl Markosky is a freelance national property journalist, who writes for publications including Country Life, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Sunday Express. She recently moved from Notting Hill to Holland Park, but creeps back over the border to visit old haunts, such as Mr Christians, Oxfam Books and the Electric. Cheryl’s also…

Happy Christmas from the Crayson team

We’ll be sad to see the back of 2011, our first full year of trading. It’s been a wonderful year for all of us at Crayson, we’ve met some fabulous people, sold some amazing houses, and totally immersed ourselves in Notting Hill life. As a thank you to everyone who’s shown us support we got…

Space Odyssey

We don’t have a shop window, and don’t feel the need to position ourselves on a high street, taking up valuable retail space, cheek by jowl with every other estate agent. Apparently 94% of house buyers use the internet to find property for sale and no longer feel the need to walk into an estate…

Autumn greetings

We are delighted to be publishing our Quarterly Market Intelligence report. You can see it in full here It’s our ‘Autumn’ report. Some may be hanging on to the belief that it’s still Summer; others may complain that it is palpably Winter. Technically, both are correct. Meteorologists use a definition of the seasons based on…

Fingers on the property pulse

If you’re buying or selling, or are simply a home-owner in Holland Park and Notting Hill, you may well want to take a look at our research into the local property market. Our quarterly review is hot off the press and captures the character and mood of the area, analysing trends and prices. Pricing is…

Bon voyage….

…to Crayson client, and Gumball Rally organiser, Maximillion Cooper It’s Gumball time again as celebrities and supercars converge on Covent Garden to participate in the annual Gumball 3000 Rally. Over 100 sensational vehicles set off from London today (26th May) on a 3,000 mile journey across 10 countries to Istanbul in what Vanity Fair Magazine…

26 Minutes for Notting Hill based royal wedding photographer

All of us at 10 Lambton Place loved the Royal wedding; and we’re delighted that those stunning official photographs were taken by a Notting Hill photographer. Hugo Burnand is based in Powis Mews, a few minutes’ walk from our own offices. This article in Monday’s Evening Standard tells the whole story beautifully. Our congratulations to…

Market Update 3rd March 2011

The last few weeks have seen precedent prices being set in some of the best properties in the area and to some extent some buyers have rushed to Exchange and Complete before the end of the financial year and beat the increase in the top band of Stamp Duty Land Tax from 4% to 5%….