Britain’s Most Expensive Houses

For more information about the program:

Media Requests for UK Sotheby’s International Realty:
Deborah Battsek: pr@deborahbattsek.com

 

Britain’s Most Expensive Houses follows top agents from UK Sotheby’s International Realty as they offer insight on some of the most spectacular properties on the market. Channel 4 picked up on the need to provide a little escapism whilst also acknowledging a world-wide trend as people sought properties with more space in light of the pandemic and the stamp duty holiday. The documentary will air at 8PM on the 28th of December.

Christmas Information | Opening Hours & Out of Hours Emergencies

As we are now within the winter months and approaching the festive holiday period, take the necessary precautions required to ensure that your home is safe and secure if you’re planning on leaving your property.

  1. During cold months, ensure your home is properly heated and ventilated in bathrooms and kitchens to prevent the build-up of condensation / mould.
  2. Outside taps need to be securely covered with insulation  to stop the tap / pipework from freezing. Freezing could result in a burst pipe damaging your home and contents.
  3. Planning on leaving for an extended period? Ensure the heating is left on sufficiently to prevent pipes bursting due to cold. Insurers recommend that boilers are left on a permanent setting no lower than 5 degrees to help prevent pipes from freezing.
  4. We would recommend that you arrange for a neighbour / friend to check the property should you be away for more than 2 days during the holiday period to ensure the landlords building Insurance and your own contents Insurance does not become void.

Property Management Holiday Guide | Hours and Emergencies

Christmas Opening

24th December 2020 – Open from 9:00am till 13.00pm
25th December 2020 – 30th December – CLOSED
31st December 2020 – Open from 9.00am till 13.00pm
1st January 2021 – January 3rd – CLOSED
4th January 2021 – Normal business resumes

Out of Hours Emergencies

Emergencies should be reported immediately. Tenants of our currently managed properties have been notified of the process via email.

Questions? Contact us to manage your property:

Andy Berthier (MARLA)
Head of Property Management – Residential Lettings
D: +44 (0) 207 495 9590
E: +44 (0) 203 131 0080 (Emergency out of hours)
Email

CONTEST CLOSED: Keep an eye on our blog for more!

To celebrate the partnership between Gusbourne and UK Sotheby’s International Realty, we are delighted to offer the opportunity to win a bottle of Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2014 and a private vineyard tour and tasting for four people at Gusbourne. Simply sign up to the mailing list using the form below for your chance to win and don’t forget to share the contest with a friend.

Entries are accepted until 20th October, 2020 and the winners will be notified shortly after. One winner will be chosen at random. Prize is non-transferable and must be fulfilled before 31st September 2021. By entering this contest, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age.

 


UK Sotheby’s International Realty and Gusbourne will use this information to provide updates and marketing via email. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at london@sothebysrealty.co.uk and  info@gusbourne.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information on our privacy policy, click here. By signing up, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

On 8th July, the government announced that there will be a Stamp Duty holiday until 31st March 2021

The major news is that Chancellor Rishi Sunak has now raised the minimum Stamp Duty threshold to £500,000; where previously Stamp Duty was paid on homes sold for at least £125,000, for first time buyers, or on properties sold for more than £300,000.

However for those in the upper real estate market…things get a bit cloudier. Understandably, each case and situation is different so we encourage you to call us to find out how much you will be saving under the new rules.

Variables include whether or not you’re buying a second home, an investment, and the various price ranges above £500,000.

The good news for buyers:

You could save thousands.

The good news for sellers:

Buyers are now more actively looking to purchase.

Call us to find out how much you will  benefit from the Stamp Duty changes

 

6 Tips for using Washable Face Coverings

As of 15th of June, face coverings will be required on all public transport in England

Guy Bradshaw
Director, Head of London Residential

As we emerge from lock-down, staying alert is part of the new normal. We are open for business and we continue to follow the guidance provided by the government. We are booking viewings and valuations as per usual with respect to new safety measures.

See our other post for advice on Disposable Face Coverings

 

8 hours is the limit, and replace if it becomes damp
Put away used masks until washing
Wash reusable masks after each use
If mask becomes damaged remove it and replace with a new one
Wash for at least 30 seconds by hand or in a machine. It is safe to wash with other items
Masks are only effective in combination with frequent hand washing

Using face coverings | 6 Tips

As of 15th of June, face coverings will be required on all public transport in England

Guy Bradshaw
Director, Head of London Residential

As we emerge from lock-down, staying alert is part of the new normal. We are open for business and we continue to follow the guidance provided by the government. We are booking viewings and valuations as per usual with respect to new safety measures.

See our other post for advice on Washable Face Coverings

Using face coverings | 6 Tips

1. Wash your hands thoroughly before putting on your mask
2. Ensure it covers your nose and mouth completely and watch for gaps
3. Avoid touching your ask once it’s on, and wash your hands first before readjusting your mask
4. Replace as soon as it’s damp and do not reuse single-use masks
5. Remove the mask from behind and dispose immediately in a covered bin
6. Wash your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based rub

Effects of Covid-19 on the UK Lettings Market

James Somers MARLA
Head of Lettings, London

The effects on the property market due to Covid-19 have been clear; with the country on lockdown since the end of March there has certainly been less activity across the UK housing market. However, since the lockdown measures were lifted for estate agents last month, we have seen an increase in lettings activity and it’s clear that people are preparing themselves for life after lockdown – a massive boost for the lettings market and one we certainly all needed!

At UK SIR, we saw lettings enquiries increase by over 130% from April to May, echoing our predictions of pent up demand during the lockdown period which put almost everything property related on hold. This huge increase is partly due to the fall in demand we saw at the end of March, but this is an extremely positive change and a sign that demand for rental properties is growing much more than sales.

Despite this returning demand and rise in enquiries, while rents initially remained fairly steady, new reports suggest that achieved rent levels look likely to come down and we have already seen Landlords accepting lower offers to ensure they have a tenant and eliminate any vacancy period even if this means taking a lower rent. June through to September is typically the busiest period of the year for lettings agents but with travel restrictions still in place, we have seen hardly any corporate relocations since Q1 and the uncertainty for students surrounding their studying means the flurry of international students we normally see at this time of the year is down as well. With that said, people will always need a place to live and with the wider impact of Covid-19 on the sales market, we expect to see more would be buyers filling the void and opting to rent instead with lettings being a more stable option as the long term effects of this pandemic become more clear. For that reason I expect the lettings market to remain buoyant with more activity predicted over the following months.

Those who are looking are planning for every eventuality and the lock-down has put peoples living situations into perspective with many revaluating what they actually need and what’s most important to them. Many of the enquiries we are now seeing have requests for outside space and a home working space which shows the shift in people’s needs as working from home for many is likely to continue for some time. With the fear this could happen again at the back of many people’s minds, they want to know they are prepared for another lock-down and have the most comfortable home environment possible.

This is also evident through the increase in activity from our Country Office. The demand for country rental properties is still strong with many London families looking to either up sticks and relocate to more rural areas with good connections into London or to acquire a second home where they can all live more comfortably without feeling on top of each other in their smaller London residences which might have little to no outside space. With the “staycation” also expected to be more popular this summer with families opting to stay in the UK rather than take the risk of traveling abroad, we expect to see many people taking out short-term holiday lets with houses coming with pools and tennis courts being the most popular.

During the lockdown it was important that we did not become complacent and were there to support our clients throughout this difficult time. While the country was on lockdown we continued to advise and prepare our landlords for when the lockdown is lifted. This was a great opportunity for many of them to get their properties ready whether that be finishing off the renovations, tidying up the garden or as we saw for many – organising virtual reality tours of their homes. We wanted to ensure we were putting our clients in the best possible position to capitalise on the returning activity as soon as social distancing measures were lifted and it was thanks to this effort that meant we were ready come 13th May, with multiple offers already agreed.

Lets for the Summer in the English Country Side

Main Road, Farthinghoe, BrackleyNorthamptonshire, NN13

6 Bedrooms | 6,623 Sq. Ft.

£10,000 per week

Abbey Lodge is a uniquely historical house in a desirable location. The house has a rich history, and dates predominantly from the 15th and 16th centuries. Farthinghoe is a rural south Northamptonshire village close to the border of north Oxfordshire. The village has a primary school, The Fox public house/restaurant, repair garage and parish church. There is good communication with intercity train services from Bicester North to London Marylebone and access to the M40 at either J10 for the south or J11 for the north.

Book a viewing

The Ridge, Neston, Wiltshire, SN13

6 Bedrooms

£6,923 per week

Enjoy your first view of this traditional country house set within 12 acres from the gravelled sweeping driveway, the solid wooden door giving access to the traditional hall with flagstone floors and high ceilings, step into a cosy TV room with comfy armchairs, cushions and colourful throws, the perfect space to lose yourself in a movie. Passing back through the dining hall a larger lounge warmed by the open fire, welcomes you with comfortable seating for all that come to stay. The indoor pool with heated pool and changing rooms is perfect whatever the season with by folding doors that open onto the gardens.

Book a viewing

Farm Lane, New Yatt, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29

Bedroom

£4,000 per week

This luxury farmhouse is the perfect place from which to explore the rolling Cotswold countryside whilst still being close to the market towns of Witney, Woodstock and the City of Oxford. The farm has plenty of space with 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 3 reception rooms and a superb Johnny Grey designed kitchen. New Yatt is a small village situated 2 miles from the bustling market town of Witney. Woodstock and Blenheim Palace are 7 miles away and the “city of dreaming spires” Oxford 12 miles.

Book a viewing

Exquisite London Lets

Turner House, 6 Exchange Court, Covent Garden, London, WC2R

2 Bedrooms | 806 Sq. Ft.

£1,200 per week

Presenting this modern two-bedroom, two-bathroom first floor lateral apartment with a large semi-open plan living room complete with a modern bespoke kitchen. The apartment is beautifully presented having been recently redecorated throughout and further benefits from access to a balcony from the living room. Turner House is perfectly located in the heart of Covent Garden and is moments from the Covent Garden Piazza benefiting from the plethora of shops, bars and restaurants the area has to offer.

Book a viewing

Get to know Jason Corbett, Director of UK Country Office

From Scotland to England – My Journey

Jason Corbett, Director Country Sales and Lets

To tell my story, even in brief, I have to go back…. way back…. to the late 1800’s, to my Great, Great Grandfather, Archibald Cameron Corbett.

The son of a successful Glasgow merchant and philanthropist, Archibald became one of the principle developers of east London, with some prominent areas of London and a residents society , The Corbett Society, is still named after him.

Archibald Cameron Corbett

Later he became involved in politics joining the Liberal party & then becoming the MP for Glasgow Tradeston until his retirement from the House of Commons in 1911, when he was created 1st Baron Rowallan.

He was amazingly generous gifting free accommodation and in extreme examples, whole country estates and parks to the local people for their pleasure.

For example, Rouken Glen Park, a beautiful 143 acre house and park, in Glasgow was given to the citizens of Glasgow and similarly the stunning 9,000 acres of the hills to the north west of Glasgow known as Ardgoil Estate (right)

 

The Old Castle

In 1901 Archibald bought the Rowallan Estate, some 6,000 acres in Ayrshire, Scotland and having already got a cold 12th century Scottish castle on it, he decided to build a bigger, modern home for the family to live in…and that’s where I grew up…my childhood home.

The New Castle

Sir Thomas, 2nd Baron Lord Rowallan

My Great grandfather, Thomas, the 2nd Baron Lord Rowallan was awarded the Military Cross in WWI for attempting to dig out some wounded soldiers who had been buried by artillery, while “under heavy fire and in full view of the enemy”, receiving a leg wound which left him with a permanent disability. He became Chief Scout of the Commonwealth and British Empire in 1945, was governor of The Bank of Scotland, received the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh and became a Knight of the Thistle, a position that merits a seat that is still an attraction on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh today. He served as the Governor of Tasmania from 1959 where there are still areas named after him. Thomas was married to Gwyn, who was the sister of Jo Grimond, Baron Grimond, the leader of the Liberal Party.

Now to my Grandfather, Arthur, 3rd Baron Lord Rowallan. A veteran of WWII he won a Croix de Guerre, a French military decoration awarded to those soldiers who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with the enemy for his part in the 2nd world war & moved to Spain where he ran several very popular bars restaurants & night clubs.

My Father, John, 4th Baron Lord Rowallan, a chartered surveyor and highly respected international show jumping judge is now retired & lives in Scotland not far from the former family estate.

The estate and my family home were sold in the late 1980’s to pay inheritance tax and other unaffordable costs.

Since my mid-teens I have been a hard worker, working various local jobs gaining experience and always paying my way. Farming was in my blood, driving alongside the combine, collecting the corn and driving all 18 tonnes up and down the A1 in Northumberland to the depot for one job. The scenery working in Morayshire, northern Scotland, east of Inverness, was arguably the most scenic. Selling houses there was simply breath-taking.

I made a decision when living in Edinburgh to make my first proper foray into England to complete my education at The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Gloucestershire the place I considered best for training to become a farmer / country estate manager. Whilst there and for a few years after, I worked in various bars /clubs and estate agencies and selling ex MOD properties for a large national developer. I had summers returning to my farming roots working on potato farms; literally working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week earning a fantastic salary and used this as both experience and to save money to contribute to buying my first house.

In 1997 I found a vacancy in an Estate Agency in in Fulham, London. Having never really been to London or indeed lived in London I saw this as a great opportunity and took it. It was there that I flourished in my early career.

In 2003 on the birth of my first child I moved out of London to a small hamlet just outside of beautiful Bath. I worked for several years for one of the world’s leading international properties companies before heading further south to Dorset to a large south western multi discipline agency. I loved that firm, but the bright lights of London beckoned again and we moved again. However, this time not all the way in.

Settling in Cobham, Surrey and now with two children, I commuted to my old London firm who had asked me back! Under my direction, this amazing local firm grew and grew in success and was ultimately bought by a large multi-disciplinary national firm before I finally settled with UK Sotheby’s International Realty. With a few tough life changes under my belt, I am now settled in my job, have a house in the leafy and beautiful village of Cobham and live in a small village outside of Gatwick, just within the Surrey borders.

Our Country Office in Cobham

We have an office right on Cobham High Street close to the meandering River Mole with its resident ducks to the vast array of local shops. From the mix of housing, some of it old and some of it new, large or small, we as a company can engage and can identify with it all. My children went to schools locally in Downside and Cobham and are now in Leatherhead. Cobham is the perfect place for someone with my story. So much of my life experience lends itself to working in Cobham.

UK Sotheby’s International Realty deals with an array of property covering the whole of the UK from our Cobham office. Last year we sold a gloriously positioned mews house in Albury at £455,000 and as I write, I’m working on a sale at around £30,000,000. We really do cover it all and will work on any house for the right client at the right price. It is all about working together, client and agent, as good advice and good marketing will result in amazing sales. It’s not the value of the property that makes UK Sotheby’s Realty so special, it’s the clients that we work with. Any price, anywhere, as long as there’s a market, we can help. Any price, anywhere, in any market, we can help.

Contact Jason Corbett
m +44 (0) 1932 860 537
Email
38 High Street, Cobham
Surrey KT11 2SJ
United Kingdom

Meet Polina Shchepetkova, Head of Russian Desk

Choosing the right agent for your needs is especially important when making large life decisions, especially for a new home or a new investment opportunity; you need a personal connection and mutual understanding among the parties. While Russian myself, I have been in the UK for almost 9 years and, before joining Sotheby’s International Realty, I was working with private family offices serving the needs of UHNW individuals.

Certainly, the Russian language is exotic, and having the ability to share the same mother tongue with my clients is a positive accelerator for business relationships. Having a deep understanding for culture, mentality, behaviours, traditions and values; I have an advantage in  knowing Russian etiquette and social sensibilities – this what truly creates a bond and makes business flow, hence more successful and enjoyable for everyone.

I once realised how challenging it is nowadays to find people in sales who would genuinely focus on your goals, instead of narrowing down the path towards a particular project. With my business approach, I treat my clients with the type of service that I would expect for myself. By having knowledge in economics and finance, I aim to not only provide all the details of the project, but also to expand the awareness on the area and city structures; I provide insight on market knowledge, and I inform on current economic trends and political plans. Additionally, my job also includes providing you with an honest education on potential weaknesses and risks.

I believe that, despite the complexity of any given situation, there is always a solution to be found. It is just the matter of the creative thinking and problem solving, professional support and knowledge from a certified team that aims towards the same result. I partner closely with the top professionals in the industry because they can provide complimentary services for my clients. Need an advice on the best school for your kids? Visa issues? Solicitors and architects? Security and chefs? Easy. I have established strong partnerships and can recommend anyone my clients would potentially need – all are Russian speaking specialists ready to address any kind of issue that might arise on the way. Such approach creates a feeling of harmony during the process and satisfaction upon completion.

I discovered, that quite often people need more time and specific environment to understand and follow their true goals and preferences. Hence, my main strategy is to remain transparent throughout the process and keep the client informed as an expert in the area, but also a friend. For me, the real achievement in this business is not just generating quality leads and closing deals but also making sure that my clients and partners are feeling satisfied and fortunate long after we work together. With most of my clients we stay in touch for years.

I’m on call for your questions about anything in regards to your life here in London, part of having a house here is about feeling at home.  People are the main drivers of any businesses. Long-term relationships are the key to personal  and professional success.

Polina Shchepetkova
Head of Russian Desk

M: +44 (0) 755 740 16 26
+7   (0) 905 790 36 06
T: +44  (0) 207 498 95 80

Polina.Shchepetkova@sothebysrealty.co.uk

Owning a Private Island

From the UK to French Polynesia

For questions about the event email London@sothebysrealty.co.uk. 

Recorded on Wednesday 13th May, 2020
1800h GMT | 0700h Tahiti

Join Guy Bradshaw, Director of London Residential at UK Sotheby’s International Realty, as we discuss the property market in French Polynesia. Jacques Menahem, Owner of French Polynesia Sotheby’s International Realty will give us an overview of the benefits of owning a private island, including price points, the right steps to take, and what to watch out for. Explore the benefits of having property in French Polynesia as we’ll answer questions about permanent residency vs. secondary home and island ownership. Find out what you need to know to invest, buy and rent property in that region.

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Guy Bradshaw
Director, Head of London Residential