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How much is our house worth?  Are we paying the right price for our new house?  Are our landlords being reasonable?  What really is happening to the housing market?  Shall we stay in Queen’s Park – is it sill the ‘place to be’?  Us Brits along with our adopted ex-pats just. can’t. stop. talking about it.  And we would really like some honest answers…  so please step in the property experts at Knight Frank Queen’s Park to help us make sense of it all…

Hello Knight Frank team!  It’s lovely to talk to you and find out a little more about  your take on the housing market (we need answers!), your Queen’s Park team  – and what makes you all tick!

First up – here’s a question you must get on a daily basis so let’s get it out of the way – how’s the local market doing in this volatile political climate!?

Despite the negative media surrounding the property market in general, in the Queen’s Park office we are achieving strong prices on roads such as Hartland Road, Wrentham Avenue, Chevening Road, Kingswood Avenue and Lynton road, to name a few recent examples.

Not only are we achieving record prices for our sellers, we are constantly seeing very happy buyers in their wonderful new homes. Savvy buyers are taking advantage of relative price drops compared to previous years, and good lending rates.

However, there has been a shift, in that buyers do appear to be more wary throughout the conveyancing process – the challenge we’ve found is that when the transaction  goes into solicitors’ hands, buyers  require a lot more advice and reassurance than we’ve experienced before. 

While we’re dealing with a lot of family buyers, there is a lack of stock, and we’re seeing multiple bids on the same properties. There has been a 21% increase year on year in applicants registering across London, while available stock has gone down by 18%. 

Overall, however, the house market remains very robust in the area, with healthy appetite from families to secure homes for long term purchases.

One of the things we love most about our area is the large number of properties with fabulous architecture including an array of Victorian, Edwardian and 1930’s houses and flats.   Do you think this has played a part in the desire for so many to move here?

In a word, yes. The area is full of gorgeous properties, inside and out. On top of the variety of architecture, one of the best things about working in this area is that all of our buyers and clients are so creative that each home you walk into is unique. Character and personality play a big part in the appeal of the homes here. We also personally really love when people restore and look after original features in period properties. As for current trends, there are always new things that are in and out of fashion, but at the moment we’re seeing a lot of crittal windows, strong blue tones, and maximization of space through clever design. 

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Although we’ve seen your boards all over the local area, we seem to be seeing them further afield including Brondesbury, Willesden & Harlesden – are these surrounding areas now competing for the QP clientele?

We’re actually really proud that we’re able to help buyers and sellers in an ever-expanding area, while not compromising on the quality of service we offer. The areas you mentioned are as unique as Queen’s Park, and we wouldn’t say that they are competing – as long as Queen’s Park retains all of its wonderful characteristics and vibrant community spirit, we think it will remain as popular a choice as ever. Often there is more space available, larger houses and gardens further away from Queen’s Park itself, which appeals to an increasing number of people. In the same way that we see buyers often moving their property search from St John’s Wood, Notting Hill, and Hyde Park, people who have been looking in Queen’s Park and want even more space are looking in these areas and can still benefit from the proximity to Queen’s Park.

Whenever we’ve been in to see you (regularly thanks to being our lovely sponsors!), the team always appear unflustered, professional and cheerful.  Do you put something in the tea or is there a strict vetting process to get a job at Knight Frank?

It’s definitely the tea, haha! Really though, thank you for noticing this as the atmosphere in the office and our team morale are things that we’ve worked hard to create. We’re all keenly aware that our relationship as a team is fundamental to us being the best for our customers – we want people to be relaxed and feel welcome and at home in the office. We also have a toy box, biscuits, a dog bowl, lovely flowers out front, and we’re always trying to think of how we can make it less “office-y” for anyone stepping in. The office is where many life-long relationships with clients, buyers, and anyone who might just need a bit of help begin. We really appreciate being here in the middle of such a close-knit community, and want to be a positive presence.

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Back – Ryan Woodward (Negotiator), Amelia Watkinson (office manager), Emily Ramsay (Partner, negotiator), Marc Collier (Negotiator) Front – Thomas Carroll (Core market manager), Sarah Khalil (Office Head, Associate)

What do you all love about working at Knight Frank QP?

Where do we begin?! Some of us live nearby, and some travel from further afield, but it’s a home from home for all of us. We love working with such a diverse demographic, from new families, to creatives, to people who have been here for years. People feel that they can pop into the office to see us at any point, which is really lovely. It’s such a vibrant, happy area too, with so many amazing independent businesses, interesting people, a strong sense of community with things like Queen’s Park Day, the farmers’ market, Halloween fundraiser and so much more. Plus there’s so much good food and so many lovely places to hang out come rain or shine. Some of us even find ourselves here on weekends when we’re not working!

You hold a central spot right in the centre of Queen’s Park’s Salusbury Road – how does this help (if at all) your branch?

We really do feel lucky to be here for a lot of reasons. We get so many walk ins, even from people who need advice or just directions, and it’s so nice to be able to help and be seen as so approachable and accessible, as it’s easy for people to find us. Every time we leave the office, we bump into clients or people from other local businesses, so the sense of community is remarkable, and it’s great being in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

What’s the general demographic of people moving into the area and has it changed in recent years?

The area really is incredibly diverse – a true representation of London as a whole. Buyers who have been previously looking in St Johns Wood and Notting Hill increase year on year. But as well as those moving into the area, we have many looking to upsize within the local area without losing the familiarity of their community. 

It’s an amazing mix of young professionals, families, lots of city workers, international buyers, older generations, creatives, and a fair few celebrities – so it’s a wonderfully diverse area. Where prime central London attracts a lot of overseas buyers, we typically see more UK based buyers – although there are of course lots of people from all over the world.

How’s the rental market doing and has it changed  at all since the rules for landlords has tightened up?

The rental market in Queens Park remains strong, particularly in the family house market which continues to be active as always – driven by schools and the desire to be in an area that offers so much for young families. The improvement of the retail offering on Salusbury Road remains a key draw with a good selection of cafes, restaurants and amenities including the recent addition of Planet Organic. Through our wide branch network and corporate channels we have sustained demand for good quality homes and houses and we always strive to give our landlord clients the best advice in order to secure the highest calibre tenants at the strongest market rates.  

 

What can people expect from Knight Frank when selling, buying or renting from you?

We put our customers first every time, and being a trusted property partner is at the core of what we do. Working in property is such a human field, so we try to be as personable as possible because there’s nothing worse than everything feeling cold and transactional. We also take great pride in our market knowledge and insight, with a world-class research department at our disposal, helping us to stay up to date in terms of the information and advice we provide. We know the local market inside and out, as well as what’s going on in the wider world that may have an effect on it. We also work as a team to get the best results and provide everyone with the very best service – we don’t compete with each other and we’re all friends in the office. We love coming to work every day, and we hope that shows through in the way we work with our customers.

If you could have a day off to enjoy Queen’s Park and the surrounding areas, what would you do?

We’re all very different and each have our own favourite places in Queen’s Park, so we’ve each answered in turn:

Ryan – I’d start the day with a coffee at Dark Habit, on Salusbury Road, and then have a long wander around Planet Organic, or the Farmers’ Market on a Sunday – you can lose hours browsing all the amazing produce in either place! And then if I had room for more around lunch time, I’d head over to Vicki’s Deli. The food there is addictive!

Marc – I’d kick start the day at NW10 Cross Fit Willesden for sure. As a reward, the obvious choice would be a drink at Wolf Pack on Lonsdale Road, and on the way home I’d pick up some beautiful flowers for my wife from Scarlett & Violet.

Thomas – There’s so much to do in the area but I’ve always wanted to do a wine tasting session in The Salusbury, and then for lunch to soak that all up, you can’t beat a wrap and the salads from the secret Moroccan deli hidden at the back of one of the shops on Salusbury Road.

Sarah – Rize on Salusbury Road has some amazing classes, so I’d kick start my day with a session in there. Then Milk Beach on Lonsdale Road is just a short walk, and I love the banana bread with espresso cream cheese that they do there, so that’s how I’d refuel.

Amelia – Jivita Ayurveda on Chamberlayne Road is incredible, so I’d definitely treat myself to a massage there. Then I’d head to Paradise Unbakery for some of their amazing healthy savoury dishes, and their incredible sweet treats… but I’d definitely end the day in The Whippet with a tiramisu martini (it was on the menu last year in the colder months) or any other delicious cocktail that they have. 

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Knight Frank Queen’s Park
60c Salusbury Road,
London, NW6 6NP
020 8115 2085
www.knightfrankqueenspark.co.uk

Keep up to date on KFQP happenings via Marc & Sarah’s KF instagram accounts: @mc_queenspark_kf / @sarahkhalil_knightfrank


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