Property professional with an eye on the landscape of Prime Central London, Merton Croisdale-Appleby, Managing Director of London estate agent Maskells talks to DBPR
What is different about Maskells’ approach as an agent?
At Maskells we treat every property individually. All our team have worked for large firms in the past and understand that simply applying a selling formula doesn’t ensure that your property achieves the highest possible price. We focus on giving clients a bespoke service to ensure that we introduce every property we sell to every possible opportunity across the whole market. We make sure we communicate and give clients full transparency on the progress of their sale from start to finish.
Maskells has new business enterprises in Spain. Tell us a little about the what and why
Recently we expanded our offering to include international property and short letting. This has been done by linking forces with market experts in these two fields to provide us with the ability to offer first class advice and properties in both these markets. See MASKELLS SPAIN
We have also embraced the change to industry that the Internet has brought and are selling properties across south west London covering areas such as Battersea, Fulham and Clapham. We’re doing this with the added benefit of bringing the Chelsea standard of agency service to these areas, whilst keeping our clients fees below the market average.
What is your client demographic and profile in PCL?
We pride ourselves on our ability to cover the whole market, from studio flats to large family houses and new development opportunities. We have strong global links and our team are fluent in many different languages including French German, Spanish and Cantonese, which ensures we can really support and be in tune with the volume of international buyers and sellers that choose to invest and live in London.
What are the challenges in the property market in PCL in 2016?
In Prime Central London, sales have been severely affected by changes to tax and political uncertainty, leading to a significant reduction in transaction levels across the market. The main challenge for us has been to ensure that we expose clients’ properties to the breadth of the buying public. By doing exactly this, we have managed to achieve record prices consistently despite the adverse market conditions. Brexit* is a key milestone this year, causing uncertainty which makes people hesitate before moving. However, the biggest issue is stamp duty; it has risen to a punitive level on family houses in PCL, and for many the cost of moving has become unpalatable.
You’re clearly passionate about property, but if you weren’t in property what would you do?
My degree was in landscape design and I continue to have a real passion for it, so I suspect I would have gone down that path.
What are your top five old or new developments in London?
OLD: Norman Foster’s Riverside One, Battersea – I love the architecture, the flats have huge windows which have wonderful views of the Albert Bridge and Cheyne Walk
OLD: The Gateways, built in the style of Sir Edwyn Lutyens, it is a lovely development of arts and crafts houses around small formal gardens, which is completely different in style and scale to the rest of the London.
NEW: Cheyne Terrace, built on the site of seriously unattractive derelict sub-station, it is architecturally attractive and has been a huge improvement on what was there before.
NEW: Battersea Power Station – what a relief to finally see it happening and they are creating a new destination in London, from one of its great landmarks, which has been so unapproachable and sad, bringing with it new infrastructure and unlocking a lost piece of the city
NEW: Chelsea Barracks – although it is controversial, I think it will bring a real community to a slightly forgotten part of the City of Westminster, which will enhance the environment for all the new development which has taken place along that stretch of the Thames.
If you could own any property in London what would it be and why?
I would own a house on Carlyle Square in Chelsea. They are lovely period houses in the heart of Chelsea surrounding a beautiful private garden squares.
* Read “Brexit – sure in an ideal world” by Charles Curran, Principal and Market Data Analyst at Maskells