“Do not buy a convertible sports
car in the summer” recommended
my Father. Likewise good advice
is not to buy your umbrella when
it is raining; so why are buyers
frantic to buy property when
there is so little available?
The classic economics of low supply and high demand
means that vendors are back in command and
commanding high prices! So why do people buy?
Well as far as Mayfair is concerned the stock is always
in low supply and astute buyers realise that the
product that they see today might not be available
again for a considerable time. What seemed
expensive today might seem reasonable when the
next comparable property is available.
There is also a great deal of money in the system
wanting somewhere to go and property is still seen as
a safe haven. If you’re looking for an area to invest
your cash, where better than the geographically
bounded area of Mayfair which is constrained on
supply by planning restrictions and returning to its
residential heritage through former office buildings
reverting back to their original residential use.
Mayfair is still playing catch up on value with other
prime residential areas of central London, so Wetherell
still see investment growth and value. Even for those
Aston Martin Volante drivers who have popped out
for lunch in a thunderstorm and needed to purchase
the umbrella, they will still have the satisfaction of not
being soaked and can drive home in an engineering
So what is available to buy?
The answer to this question is the problem, there is
very little and that is where the problem starts; it is
very boring seeing so little property with most of it
being so inferior to what buying perceptions perceive.
Also with so few properties to look at, how are you
meant to compare value on a like for like basis?
This is a market for either a desperate buyer or a
sophisticated and knowledgeable purchaser who can
see value in what they are buying. For those with the
faith and the will to buy, here is your hit list of how to
prepare for your purchase:
Cash is cash, not finance to be arranged subject to
valuation at a later date. Sort out your finances prior
to your search. Cash is king and it is not just vendors
who are looking for a quick exchange, it can benefit
the buyer by beating the competition in a rising
When vendors have more than one acceptable offer
they tend to instruct their agent to seek best offers by
a certain date. Remember that all offers are “subject
to contract” and not legally binding until exchange.
The best offer does not have to be the highest offer; it
can be the strongest offer through either speed or
The vendor has decided to issue a second contract on
a first come first served basis. Be prepared to
“attend” whereby the purchaser’s solicitor attends the
vendor’s solicitor’s office, goes through the contract
and subsequently exchanges contracts, hopefully in
working hours but the most exciting ones tend to
exchange at about 10.30 in the evening!
In a fast moving seller’s market, buyers tend to bid first
and think later! Second thoughts results in either
withdrawing from the purchase or re-offering at a
lower price. The fall through rate rises in a strong
sellers market, so be prepared for the call from the
estate agent telling you the property has just come
back to the market. You need to move fast to secure
Forget about looking on the internet to buy your
property; look on it as an Open University course for
learning about values, areas and markets. The only
way to buy in a fast market is the old fashioned way,
speak to the estate agents, decide which one you are
going to make your “best friend” and keep in touch!
In the modern world of websites and computers it
takes a while to upload a property for the world to
see but only takes a minute to pick up the telephone
to gain valuable market information.
The Next 6 Months in Mayfair?
Historically we are now entering our busiest period
being the last quarter of the year (everyone is back
from their holidays and wanting to purchase before
Christmas) and the first quarter of 2007.
If you’re actively looking for a property in Mayfair to
either buy or rent speak to the people who have the
knowledge, the property and the reputation of not
only being Mayfair’s leading specialist estate agents but
also the agent who markets Mayfair’s finest properties.