June 24, 2015

A little square of Cambridge in EC4

Frank Harris-St Dunstans House-12Walking down Fetter Lane, you could be anywhere; towering glass facades loom above you harbouring City office workers in their great steel structures. The buildings resemble those of any big, modern city, that is until you arrive at The Maughan Library. Its fine neo-gothic fascia transports you to the backs of Cambridge, minus the river River Cam of course!

The Maughan Library is a Grade II* listed building, the main library for King’s College London and home to a dodecagonal reading room similar to the more famous Reading Room at the British Museum. Although the building we see today was originally completed in 1851, the background of the site dates back to the middle ages where amongst other uses it was a store house for scrolls and records of the Chancery. The building continued to house records until the late 1990s under its title of Public Records Office. In 2001 the building was acquired by the University and a £35million makeover was undertaken which left the edifice in the pristine condition in which it can be found today, positively gleaming as it straddles the land between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane, EC4.Frank Harris-St Dunstans House-2

Frank Harris & Co. are proud to introduce a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom property within the new St Dunstan’s development on Fetter Lane. The property has a wonderful West facing aspect with a wraparound balcony which sits above the green of the library grounds. The apartment is wonderfully light, the light bouncing off the golden façade of the library back into the brilliantly designed kitchen/living room; this aspect also allows for near silence and tranquillity within the property, a rare quality for a building in the centre of London. If you would like to see this property, please call the sales team at Frank Harris & Co. City Office on 020 7600 7000 or email city@frankharris.co.uk.

Frank Harris-St Dunstans House-16

June 12, 2015

Latest Findings from Frank Harris Research

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 8:31 am

Average prices in London are continuing to grow strongly. All but four boroughs experienced double digit annual price increases according to the latest Land Registry data published (up to May 2015). The lowest annual change in price growth was recorded in Kensington and Chelsea (4.4%) and Westminster (6.4%) among all London boroughs (10.9%). Higher taxes levied, interfering most with the top end property market (stamp duty, capital gains and ATED), along with concern over the election, has undoubtedly been the main reason behind prime London slowing down.

 

The majority Conservative government means that no mansion tax or major reform of the lettings market will be implemented. Their handling and plan for the economy is also potentially the most conducive to economic growth. There were expectations of a marked increase in demand after the election; however, this has not been the case, although an Autumn pick-up is now anticipated. The higher taxes, consistent price growth seen over the last five years, as well as more stringent lending restrictions, have all affected demand. This is a permanent trend and will likely prevent the prime boroughs returning to double digit growth for a while. These are natural economic suppressors on demand and potentially healthy in helping the market slow down to avoid unsustainable price inflation.

 

For the first time since the financial crisis, we are seeing outer boroughs of London outperform prime central areas as a consistent trend. Pure equity (cash funding), resilience to economic troubles and better sentiment among centrally orientated buyers, particularly from abroad, saw strong demand fuel price growth in London’s prime boroughs. However we now see that the comparative value in peripheral markets coupled with a resurgence in domestic demand has fuelled these non-central boroughs to rise disproportionally.

 

Looking forward, better economic performance (with consumer and business sentiment increasing, rising real earnings and low interest rates) will raise activity both among borrowers and lenders, spurring more transactions in the market. Market commentators are estimating prime central prices to rise approximately 20-25% to the end of 2019, therefore continued growth is predicted (although not as in the last few years when this would have occurred in just 12 months). Having just overcome a major degree of uncertainty among buyers and sellers, we will now see the EU membership referendum (potentially having significant implications for London) and mayoral elections influencing on demand over the next two years. However the UK and housing market’s economic fundamentals remain strong, paving the way for continued growth.

 

Source: Land Registry/Frank Harris Research

Source: Land Registry/Frank Harris Research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rentals

 

Rental growth is being recorded by all major price indices. Supply and demand has been affected by the election, with some postponing a decision to let and some sales applicants deciding to rent for the interim. The RICS reports that in a three month period up until May, both rental demand and new instructions increased with price expectations positive going forward. Supply has been reported to have risen steadily for the last three years, potentially slowing price growth but more positively allowing for increased activity. Looking at the drivers of demand, one major aspect – employment in the service sector, in particular the finance sector, is improving. Rental yields have risen slightly, with capital growth in central London slowing.

May 15, 2015

Bridging the Gap! Floating garden

Filed under: Latest News — Frank Harris @ 10:45 am

garden bridge thames ukThe Garden Bridge will be a new 366m long footbridge stretching across the River Thames, from the top of Temple underground station on the North Bank to the South Bank. The project will provide Londoners with an enchanted green space in the middle of the busy city. Work will commence in January 2016 and will be finished in Summer 2018. The Bridge will be a world first, created by some of Britain’s leading designers and engineers and showcasing the best of British talent.

This ‘’floating garden’’ will attract approximately 3 million new visitors to this area of South Bank per year. There is currently already an estimated 25 million visiting the area between London Eye and Royal Festival Hall every year. Please visit the project’s website to follow up on latest updates.

ThamesBridge.1jpgThe location will improve transport connectivity, efficiency and resilience on both sides of the River Thames, by providing a direct connection to Temple Underground and reducing pressure on Waterloo and Embankment Stations.

The Garden Bridge will be open for everyone – it will be somewhere to admire the city and will provide a new route for commuters.  Cyclists will be asked to push their bikes across which will provide fast, direct access and ensure pedestrians can safely enjoy the Bridge.

The Garden Bridge will be free with no plans for a ticketing system.  Open to the public from 6am until midnight all year round (except New Year’s Eve) and fundraising events.  These will help towards maintenance costs.  Opening hours are similar to other London parks and gardens.

 

May 13, 2015

A few apartments still available…

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 10:34 am

A few apartments still available to rent in this prestigious new 23 storey tower development on the Albert Embankment SE1.

1 beds and  2 beds luxury apartments with contemporary architecture and distinctive ambience offering breath-taking views over The River Thames, Westminster, The Houses of Parliament and towards the City. Please call our Southbank office on 020 7620 3400 for more details.

Parliament

Parliament House development, Black Prince Road SE1

Views

View from development

 

May 12, 2015

Percy & Founders: new Fitzrovia restaurant is worth a visit

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:43 pm

Main BarPercy & Founders is a new 200-seat restaurant and bar on the site of what used to be Middlesex Hospital. You may think it would be hard to miss a new eatery of that size popping up in the heart of Fitzrovia but if you have you are excused. Tucked away in a newly built square where Berners Street meets Mortimer Street, it is not somewhere you would stumble upon.

The people behind Percy & Founders describe it as “the evolution of the public house”. My first impression on stepping inside is that this is more revolution than evolution. For starters, it’s huge. Not quite aircraft hanger huge but bigger than your average, or even large, pub. This is no intimate gastro along the lines of the owner’s other venues, which include The Grazing Goat in Marylebone and Belgravia’s Thomas Cubitt.

It is also sumptuous by public house standards. That is not only due to the soft marble and pale wood interior, high ceilings and discreet lighting. I’d hazard a guess this is the only boozer in Britain whose walls are adorned by a collection of David Hockney prints. Hockney’s Rake’s Progress – 16 pictures in all, I counted – dominate the wall opposite the long bar that runs through the centre of the space.

But they are not even the star of the show. That accolade goes to the old hospital chapel that can be viewed through one of the internal windows. The chapel, built by the great Victorian architect John Loughborough Pearson, used to be hidden away along one of the hospital’s corridors. Restored at a cost of £2m as part of the redevelopment, a visit to Percy & Founders is worth it for a glimpse of the chapel’s stunning red brick, marble and mosaic interior alone.Front Bar

Is a visit worth it for the food though? I must admit I went with trepidation after reading some ‘mixed’ reviews in the newspapers. My lunch date coincided with the day of the general election result and I couldn’t help wondering if restaurant critics are as out of touch with the mood of the people as the so-called election experts.  It turns out that they are. That is, if a bustling restaurant and the opinion of my three fellow diners and I count for anything.

For starters I had one of the specials: wild asparagus with shallots, onion puree, truffle oil and chicken sauce. The asparagus was beautifully charred and went well with the chicken sauce, not a combination I’ve had before. Lovely as it was, I did have starter envy when I looked across at the tuna tartare with spring onions and lime being enjoyed by one of my companions. One for next time.

DSCN2471For my main course, I ordered the crispy lamb breast on a bed of champ and gravy. I don’t think I have ever eaten lamb breast but it was soft, tender and suitably lamby. I merrily gobbled it down. But not as merrily as the deliciously moreish side order of truffle fries with Parmesan and chives. They are not to be missed.

The ever-smiling waitress recommended the lemon and yoghurt with almond crumble and Prosecco sorbet for pudding and I’m pleased she did. It was a sort of light and zesty deconstructed lemon tart, perfect after the hearty lamb and mash.

I will definitely be returning to Percy & Founders, as I suspect many people will despite what some snooty critics have written. I should point out that other, less snooty, reviewers have heaped Percy & Founders with praise, so I’m not alone in giving it a big thumbs up.

This is an all-day venue that you can come to for breakfast or cocktails as well as lunch or dinner, so it has a broad appeal that isn’t met anywhere else locally. And the way the space is broken up into separate areas means it is a place you can keep coming back to without getting bored.

Percy & Founders is a welcome addition to Fitzrovia, well worth making the effort to find not just for the chapel and the Hockneys, but for the food too.

Percy & Founders, 1 Pearson Square, London W1. Meal for two, including drinks and service: £110. percyandfounders.co.uk 020 3761 0200

April 29, 2015

De-clutter your home for a quicker sale

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 8:56 am

Thinking of moving house?
Summer is traditionally the best time of year to sell your house, and Shurgard, the self-storage expert, wants to help make the process as easy as possible.

The ideal move sees you wave goodbye to your old property and walk straight into the next. The reality is that there is usually a limbo period where paperwork and legalities are waiting to be finalised.

Making the most of your home by de-cluttering before the move could mean the difference between a quick sell and months of uncertainty during an already stressful process.  A clutter free home could also result in a higher sale value.

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Property for sale Star Yard, WC2A

De-clutter
People like to think of the house they are viewing as their home… not yours. Therefore consider moving some of your more personal items and leaving just the bare essentials. Less is more, so be as minimalist as possible.  Although photos, ornaments and trinkets may be to your taste, they might not be to potential buyers.

De-cluttering adds to the sense of space, which should make the house feel bigger, lighter and brighter.

Getting started
Tidy away all knick-knacks. From kitchen counters to bathroom surfaces everything should be clear. Don’t hide things in cupboards or in the loft; a perspective buyer may want to really nosey around and you don’t want them to stumble across a big pile after seeing such a clutter free home! Pack these bits, along with additional bulky items like extra furniture, and arrange to store them at Shurgard for the duration of the house views.

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Property for sale Gordon Mansions, WC1E

Leave no room unturned
First impressions count! And the hallway is usually where the tour starts so move shoes, coats, keys and umbrellas. The same goes with paintings and family photos. An entrance hall should feel big, open and neutral to allow visitors to visualise how they would decorate the house.

As everyone knows, kitchens and bathrooms sell homes so move your shampoo and conditioner, novelty toaster and fridge magnets before booking any viewings. Think clean and minimal.

The garage is another space that is often full of old gear; bikes, sports equipment, tools and junk. It is not uncommon for new buyers to look at the garage as an opportunity to create an extra living space – a bedroom, study or utility room. Show off its potential by clearing it to really show buyers how much space they would have to work with.

How Shurgard can help
With 20 years of expertise, Shurgard offers a convenient, safe and flexible solution throughout the moving process, keeping treasured possessions, seasonal items and household goods secure. To make things easier, when putting items away label each box with the room it came from and ensure they are put into your storage unit facing out, so they can be easily retrieved when the move is complete.

Location
Shurgard has 22 stores across London and the Thames Valley so wherever you are in the capital you’ll never be far from a store or your belongings. Just pop your postcode in online to find your nearest store location.

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Property for sale Shakespeare Tower,Barbican EC2Y

Size
Whether you need to store one box or a mansion house full of them, Shurgard offers units from 10 to 240 square feet.

Security
Shurgard knows how important every single item in storage is. Each facility has PIN code entry into the buildings and car parks, 24hour CCTV coverage and customers have sole access to their unit.

Value
Moving is an expensive business, and Shurgard isn’t going to charge the earth to store your items. For first time users, various promotions and discounts apply, including £1 storage for the first month.

Flexibility
If the move takes longer than expected, or you only need extra space for a few weeks in-between a move just let Shurgard know and they will be happy to accommodate your needs.

For advice when planning a move check out http://www.shurgard.co.uk/ or call 0800 368 0420 or please call our Long Lane office on 0207 600 7000

April 24, 2015

Freehold house in historic Cloth Fair with terrace overlooking London’s oldest church

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 3:22 pm

202805_BAR080105Leading City estate agent Frank Harris & Co. is marketing a rare freehold house in Cloth Fair, one of London’s most historic streets. The property falls within the Smithfield conservation area and has a beautiful south-facing terrace that overlooks St Bartholomew the Great, London’s oldest church.

The church was founded as an Augustine Priory and has been in continuous use since at least 1143. Until 1910, Cloth Fair stood within the walls of the church and the gates were locked every night. These walls are given as the reason why the church and the houses in Cloth Fair were able to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666.202805_BAR080105D

Only one of those houses, 41 Cloth Fair, remains. Built between 1597 and 1614 it is the City’s oldest house and the only one to pre-date the Great Fire. The rest of the street’s houses were demolished in the 1920s.

Cloth Fair’s name dates back to medieval times; it was the place merchants gathered to buy cloth during the Bartholomew Fair. This was one of London’s pre-eminent summer fairs, taking place on 24 August every year from 1133 until 1855. As well as being a trading event, it was also a pleasure fair featuring side shows such as musicians, acrobats, freaks and wild animals.

The house is arranged over four floors and includes a modern fitted kitchen, three/four bedrooms, two bathrooms, generous entertaining space, and covered secure parking that can accommodate two cars.

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The third floor reception room is currently used as a lounge but was designed with an alternative use in mind as a master bedroom with terrace and adjacent private bathroom.   The house also benefits from gas central heating, air conditioning on the top three floors, entry phone and alarm system.

The property benefits from superb transport links, with Barbican and St. Paul’s tube stations only moments away. Farringdon Station is also nearby and will benefit from Crossrail in 2018.

Says Frank Harris director, Tina Evans:

Freehold houses in the City of London are few and far between and this one is situated in a location with a fascinating history. The excellent living space and south-facing terrace overlooking the church makes this a hugely attractive family property.”

April 14, 2015

London Market Update

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 1:32 pm

Activity in the residential property market in London has been suppressed since last summer for a variety of reasons but the most commonly quoted is the uncertainty caused by the impending General Election.

The Election is having a significant impact. Economic activity is heavily affected by political uncertainty, amplified by housing policy being high on each Party’s agenda. The main concern is over potential polices that may be introduced by a Labour government including rent controls, minimum-term tenancy agreements, a Mansion Tax along with other implications for the higher end of the market and overseas owners.

This uncertainty has affected market activity in London which has seen reduced transactions. Sales volumes were 20% lower at the end of December 2014 compared with the previous year. It is interesting to note that at the higher end, the number of properties sold at £2m+ has seen a lower than average reduction in volume with only a 10% fall in demand. However, the impact of higher Stamp Duty (in effect from 4/12/14) and extending Capital Gains Tax to non-residents (in effect from 6/4/15) are being increasingly cited by purchasers at the top end of the market and it will take time for these to be reflected in price movements before volumes increase. Therefore it is likely that prime London transactions will be significantly reduced over this year’s first two quarters.

Despite the reduction in the volume of market transactions, prices, according to the most recent information published by the Land Registry, show an average increase of 13% in London between February 2014 and February 2015.

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The average increase masks varying increases across the London boroughs which have ranged from 7.8% to 18.7% over the year to February 2015 recorded by the Land Registry.

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Despite the decrease in activity, buyer sentiment remains broadly positive. A vital component to continued activity and price growth is buyer expectations. The Halifax price optimism index increased to 60 in March (it was 20 in 2012) showing that expectations are sufficiently conducive to prices rising. The Bank of England has reported that there were 61,760 mortgages approves for house purchases in February, the highest level in six months. This is additional evidence to support a growing market ahead. Post-election we should see activity swiftly resume, providing clear policies are formed by the new government.

Rental values are reported to have increased slowly in central London over the last few months according to the main residential indices. Frank Harris & Co’s group’s figures for the last financial year show that the number looking to rent a property is 12% higher than the year before with those looking to let out their property increasing by 8%, suggesting a slight upward pressure on rents. Uncertainty in the sales market has prompted more to rent than buy of late as prospective purchasers hold off until after the election. However, post-election the sales market could strengthen negating this boost to rental demand. Fundamentally however, it is London’s strong and stable economic conditions which is why rental prices are increasing.

April 7, 2015

Apartment moments from Silicon Roundabout with stunning views across the historic gardens of the Honourable Artillery Company

202805_BAR150069CLeading City estate agent Frank Harris & Co. is marketing a spacious, modern apartment with a large balcony and spectacular west-facing views across the playing fields of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC).

The apartment has the tranquil feel of being in a country village overlooking the local cricket green, yet is moments from Silicon Roundabout, one of the world’s major tech hubs.

The HAC has been on the site since 1641 and today comprises a regiment of the Territorial Army. The main building on the site is Armoury House, a historic Georgian House set in five acres of grounds known as Artillery Garden. These grounds were originally used for archery practice and cricket. Records exist of a game of cricket being played there as early as 1725. It was also the site of England’s first balloon ascent in 1784.

The grounds are now used for rugby in the winter and cricket in the summer. They are also rented out for black tie events. The beautiful Artillery Garden is ringed by a variety of trees planted in 1996 and 2000 to celebrate the new millennium.

The two-bedroom apartment occupies the entire second floor of a five-storey residential building that was renovated in 2006. As well as the spacious balcony, its features include climate controlled air conditioning/heating, two bathrooms (one en-suite), and an open plan living room/kitchen.

Situated in City Road, the property is on the doorstep of Silicon Roundabout, home to world-class tech businesses, including Candy Crush creators King, and Google Campus. Superb local amenities include numerous high quality restaurants, the Barbican Centre and Waitrose supermarket.

The property is within easy walking distance of the City, and minutes from Old Street, Moorgate, Liverpool Street and Farringdon stations. The property will benefit from Crossrail when the new service starts in 2018, giving access to Heathrow in 32 minutes and Bond Street in just four minutes.

Says Frank Harris director, Tina Evans:202805_BAR150069A

“It is rare to find an apartment with a balcony that offers such exceptional views in this part of London. The HAC is a hidden treasure that many people, even Londoners, don’t know exists. Apartments that overlook the HAC’s beautiful green space rarely come onto the market. The apartment is fabulous too, in terms of spaciousness, layout, and location. It is minutes away from the City of London and right by Tech City. On top of all that Crossrail will be in operation before we know it, giving super-fast access east to Canary Wharf and beyond, and west to the West End and Heathrow.”

March 27, 2015

Sixth floor apartment overlooking historic Tavistock Square

202806_MAR150007NLondon has many beautiful squares and Bloomsbury’s Tavistock Square is certainly one of them. It can also lay claim to having one of the more fascinating histories.

The square’s name comes from the Marquis of Tavistock, the title given to the eldest son of the Duke of Bedford, owner of the land when it was developed in the 1820s.

At its centre is a statue of the father of India, Mahatma Gandhi. The statue, by British sculptor Fredda Brilliant, shows him sitting with bowed head and crossed-legs, wearing only his trademark robe. A gift from the Indian High Commissioner to Britain, it was unveiled by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in May 1968.

The Gandhi statue is one of several memorials in the square that has led to it being known as the ‘peace park’. There’s a cherry tree in remembrance of the Hiroshima bombings, a field maple to mark the United Nations’ International Year of Peace in 1986 and one to honour conscientious objectors installed in 1994.202806_MAR150007A

Given its Bloomsbury location, it’s not surprising to learn of the square’s literary heritage, too. Tavistock House was home to Charles Dickens between 1851 and 1860 and it was here that he wrote wrote Bleak House, Hard Times, and A Tale of Two Cities. There is also a bust in the square of novelist Virginia Woolf, whose family home was nearby.

 

Our apartment was originally two apartments, but these have now been joined to create one unusually large apartment. All the principal rooms overlook Tavistock Square’s pretty gardens from the apartment’s prime sixth floor position.  At the time of writing this article, this apartment has gone under offer, over the asking price.  We are looking avidly for similar flats to sell in Tavistock Square, so please contact our Bloomsbury & Kings Cross Office – Tel: 020 7387 0077

 

March 23, 2015

New hotel and bar brings Hoxton to Holborn

Holborn’s hottest new venue is without doubt the Hoxton Hotel on High Holborn, recently visited by our staff at Frank Harris & Co.  It occupies that otherwise nondescript strip that separates Holborn from New Oxford Street and from the outside isn’t much to look at. In fact, you’d be excused for walking past and missing it entirely. That’s not too surprising when you find out that the building was formerly a BT office block.

Once you step inside though you can’t fail to be wowed. As the name suggests, the Hoxton Hotel has more of an edgy east London style that you usually find in refined Holborn. That’s explained by the fact that this is a sister hotel to the original Hoxton Hotel that opened in Shoreditch in 2006.

The ground floor is taken up by Hubbard & Bell, a bar and restaurant run by Soho House Group and on the Thursday night we visit is rammed with after-work drinkers and diners.

Design wise it’s similar to the Hoxton Hotel. Mingling with leather sofas and brick walls painted a sparse white are retro school chairs and teak stereo cabinets.  There’s a bar along one side and at the back is the main restaurant that describes itself as catering for all appetites: “Think big portions of all kinds of meat, truffle chips and banana splits.”

After a couple of Proseccos at the packed bar we head to the restaurant and it doesn’t disappoint. On the side of the room are comfy looking booths with yellow leather seats but being a two we’re shown to a communal table in the middle of the room. This is a bit of a squeeze but on the plus side you can eavesdrop on your neighbours’ conversations and get a close up of their food. There’s a lot of “I like the look of what you’ve ordered” going on. At one stage I’m tempted to ask for a taste of the burger that’s been plonked down in the front of the lady to my left but I manage to restrain myself.

I’m glad I didn’t as the chicken I order is huge. Described simply as ‘leg, breast, tomato ailoi’ this is a big slab of tender barbequed bird with a subtle tomato flavour. My companion has the turbot which she said was excellent and the only let down is the rather greasy chips. The star of the show though was the side dish of kale with caesar dressing. Which only goes to prove that healthy food can be tasty. Who knew?

As well as the restaurant – packed from breakfast onwards according to our friendly waitress – the hotel has 174 rooms, the Chicken Shop restaurant in the basement that only serves spit roasted chicken, a nail bar and in a separat  e café next door, the Holborn Grind espresso bar.

Hoxton Hotel is a vibrant, fun venue doing its bit to bring a little bit of east London into Holborn. We’ll drink (and eat) to that.

The Hoxton Hotel is only a short walk from our Southampton Row office where you’ll find loads of properties for sale or rent in the area.

For more details of the Hoxton Hotel go to www.thehoxton.com where you’ll find copies of all their menus.

1B Grape Street - 9

Covent Garden, Mansion Flat, WC2H £1,000,000

Frank Harris-Ormonde Mansions-001

Ormonde Mansions, Southampton Row, WC1B £1,250,000

 

March 19, 2015

Pop into our refurbished Marchmont Street office and meet new senior sales negotiator Lucy Oakley

IMG_3124As you may have noticed if you’ve passed by recently, our Marchmont Street office has had a stunning makeover.

The new interior matches our branding and is bright and comfortable. We’ve also got new window displays to showcase our properties. The windows let in lots of light and from the outside you can peer in and watch us beavering away.

Andrew Sorene, Group Director, who is based in the office says: “We all love the new decor. It’s a fantastic working environment and perfect for meeting clients and applicants. Hopefully this will cement our position as Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia and King’s Cross’s number one estate agent.”

Next time you are in the area, why not pop in to say hello and have a look round. If you do, you’ll be able to meet our newest member of staff, Lucy Oakley.

Lucy spent the last 10 years of her career in St Johns Wood before deciding to make an exciting change and join Frank Harris & Co.

Says Lucy: “I love London and I love weekends spent exploring all it has to offer: Spitalfields with its on trend vibe, Covent Garden’s more touristy feel, the hidden garden squares, farmers markets and flea markets, even blue plaque hunting.”Lucy Oakley Black White

Lucy, who is mum to an 18-month-old little girl, Annie Oakley, describes herself as chatty and positive, full of enthusiasm and joy de vivre.  “Sell or buy yourself a home through me and you’re guaranteed to be in safe, knowledgeable and positive hands,” she says.

So, do come in to have a look around and say hello to Lucy. We’ll even make you a nice cup of tea or a coffee.

 

March 13, 2015

London goes green – for St Patrick’s Day

St-Patricks-Day-300x257There’s no doubt about it, the Irish know how to throw a decent party. So it’s no surprise that us Londoners are so keen to celebrate St Patrick’s Day every year.

The festival of Ireland’s patron saint actually takes place on Tuesday 17 March but there’s no need to wait until then to start enjoying the ‘craic’. London’s official shindig takes place on Sunday 15 March when around a quarter of a million people will join the St Patrick’s Day parade through central London.

Headed by former boxer Barry McGuigan, the procession of floats and marching bands starts in Green Park, before making its way along Piccadilly and Whitehall to Trafalgar Square. In the square there will be a celebration of all things Irish. As well as lots and lots of people dressed in green you’ll find Irish music, a food market, a children’s theatre and a comedy festival. For more information go to www.london.gov.uk.

For something a little different, dance the night away at what’s being billed as the highest St Patrick’s event in Europe. The Shard is hosting a St Patrick’s Day Silent Disco on its Level 69 viewing gallery. The choice of music from the resident DJs will include one channel that only plays Irish folk and ceilidh music. The evening kicks off with a glass of Jameson Irish whiskey and ginger ale to get you in the mood and there’s also Guinness on tap in case you start flagging.

If all that dancing sounds far too energetic, why not visit one of London’s traditional Irish pubs for a glass of the black stuff?

The tiny Harp pub in Covent Garden is renowned for its beer having recently been voted CAMRA National Pub of the Year. On a grander scale entirely is Covent Garden’s Porterhouse, the London outpost of Dublin’s Porterhouse Brewing Co. This vast pub is set over 12 levels and sells a range of beers including no less than three stouts. If stout’s not your thing try their Brain Blasta, which they describe as a ‘strong’ ale. At 7%, when they say strong, they mean strong.

The Tipperary at 66 Fleet Street dates back to the 15th century and claims to be the first pub to serve Guinness outside the Emerald Isle. This pub has all the charm of a traditional Irish boozer and sells no less that 16 Irish whiskeys.

We hope you enjoy your St Paddy’s Day. You’ll know you’ve had a good one when you not only wake up the following morning wearing something green, you also look green, too.

Happy St Paddy’s Day from all at Frank Harris & Co.

March 4, 2015

Beautiful Barbican

202805_BAR140319DOur lovely small style Type F1a studio is in Breton House, which is on the North of the Barbican Estate. The studio faces West and has a lovely view over the podium, benefitting from an abundance of sunshine in the afternoons and evenings. On the Eastern side of the block, the view is across to the East of London and looks down over neighbouring Whitecross Street.  Whitecross Street is a vibrant marketplace, the permanent home to a large Waitrose and many eclectic bars and restaurants, vintage barber shops and beauty salons and a quirky collection of art galleries; whilst every lunch time the street hosts an exciting food market where one can sample delights from every corner of the globe.

In particular, there is one local businesses which the team at Frank Harris & Co. City Office can wholeheartedly recommend: Taylored Framing Ltd. can be found next to the Curious Duke Gallery on Whitecross Street. If you need anything framing from old cinema posters, to African street art, to more corporate shots for the office; Alan Dean of Taylored Framing Ltd. is the man for the job. Having met Alan several times, he always shows such an enthusiasm for whatever piece of art is put before him, his ability to see the amazing difference the right style of frame can make, is both astonishing and extremely gifted- he has transformed many mediocre bits and pieces of mine into legitimate artworks which I am proud to have on my walls!

Taylored Framing Ltd. can be found at 173 Whitecross Street EC1Y 8JT and viewings of the sublime, bijoux studio in Breton House can be arranged by calling Frank Harris & Co. City Office on 020 7600 7000 or by emailing city@frankharris.co.uk.

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February 26, 2015

Cathedral with connections

202805_BAR150018L202805_BAR150018It is not hard to see the benefits of living in EC1, an area which seems to grow more exciting and diverse every week. With new exciting developments completing in the area in the next few years, such as Crossrail (completion 2018) and a new Redrow scheme coming to the Barbican in the shape of the old YMCA tower on Fann Street; now is as good a time as any to buy into EC1.

The area has a lively, village feel to it, with Charterhouse Square as the green heart and many unique, local businesses can be found in the cobbled streets which lead off it. The quarter has an endless supply of bars and restaurants from high end eateries such as Smith’s of Smithfield and Club Gascon to sweet, trendy little coffee joints like Ask for Janice. 202805_BAR150018A  202805_BAR150018DHistoric attractions like The Charterhouse and Smithfield Market for example, are just as at home here in EC1 as offices, restaurants and residential buildings.

Frank Harris & Co. have just taken on a fantastic property in Cathedral Lodge, a smart portered building nestled between Charterhouse Square and The Barbican Estate. Nicely positioned to enjoy Farringdon, The City and Islington to the North. The property has two bedrooms, one with an ensuite bathroom and is in immaculate condition with wooden floors throughout. The kitchen and bathrooms are very good quality, having been updated within the last five years with good quality, John Lewis fittings. The property is quiet and peaceful despite its excellent, central location and has an abundance of natural light due to the large windows found in each room. A secure parking space is the cherry on the cake of this brilliant offering. Please call the City office on 020 7600 7000 to book a viewing.

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February 13, 2015

A virtually stress free way to buy #property in #London!

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 3:41 pm

Technology is driving the way we do pretty much everything these days and estate agency in central London is certainly no exception.

The internet has completely changed the way that we buy and sell houses; photos, floor plans, interactive street view and much more are all available at our fingertips at any time of day or night. Minor improvements to this service have crept in over the last few years thanks to pioneers like Rightmove and Zoopla but the time has now come for the next major change in how we view properties.

Frank Harris & Co. have been using virtual tours thanks to Inspired Labs since the middle of 2013 and our clients have already reaped enormous benefits from this latest technological advancement.

Sam - Black and White“Many of the buyers that have bought through us over the last twelve months simply would not have been able to commit to these properties without the use of this superb technology,” says Sam Ball, Sales Manager at Frank Harris & Co.’s midtown office: “The world is getting smaller, this has been well known for years; many of the buyers currently purchasing in central London are coming from overseas and even the buyers that are already based in London tend to be phenomenally busy in their own careers. Making time to view properties, whether for their own occupation or for investment purposes, is harder than ever. What the virtual tour does is enable potential buyers to view properties from the comfort of their own home or office, allowing them to pick and choose which properties they visit in person. The tours are fully interactive, meaning that you can quite literally walk through the property at your leisure. This technology is here to stay and I don’t think it will be too long before all agents are taking this up through fear of being left behind.”Andrew SoreneBW

Frank Harris & Co have been helping people to buy and sell their homes in central London for more than 30 years and are held in high regard by local residents. “Getting ahead of the technological curve is not always an easy thing to do but on this occasion I think we have introduced this product at precisely the right time,” said Andrew Sorene, Group Director, who has been with Frank Harris in Bloomsbury and Midtown for more than 25 years himself. “Amazingly, I think we may be the only estate agent in the immediate local area who is offering the fully interactive room by room tours to our clients.”

To view one of these fully interactive virtual tours for yourself please visit frankharris.co.uk or scan the QR code below. If you would like more information about this fantastic new technology or if you have any queries about the property market in general please contact Sam Ball on 0207 405 4444.QR Code

January 30, 2015

Flat For Sale in Poirot’s Whitehaven Mansions

202805_BAR150003Star of 33 books, 1 play and over 50 short stories spanning a lifetime of more than 50 years, Hercule Poirot is one of the literary icons of the 20th century and synonymous with the diminutive Belgian Detective is his Mayfair home of Whitehaven Mansions. When a number of the books were serialised for the small screen during the late 1980’s, television producers scoured London’s property scene in search of the perfect building to replicate the 1930’s Art Deco Whitehaven Mansions that had been so meticulously described in the books. After compiling and subsequently whittling down a long list of potentially suitable blocks the producers decided upon Florin Court in Clerkenwell.

Florin Court is a ten-storey block of flats that was built between 1935 and 1937 (almost the exact scope of the television series chronology) for Charterhouse Ltd by architects Guy Morgan & 202805_BAR150003MPartners and builders J. Gerrard & Sons. In 1988, the block was refurbished and modernised for Regalian Properties at a cost of about £2 million by architects Hildebrand & Glicker. That was when the building acquired its current name, Florin Court. More importantly, however, this was also exactly when the first series of Poirot started shooting.

The serendipity of the find was almost too good to be true, at the precise time they needed to commence filming a block precisely matching the description of Whitehaven Mansions, lovingly restored to former glories and entirely devoid of occupants was found. Unfortunately the vacant nature of the block was not going to last and as such the producers set about filming every conceivable angle of the block and its environs, in light and darkness, for a 72 hour non-stop period. But for a few exceptions in later incarnations, the footage shot that weekend has been used to recreate Whitehaven Mansions ever since.

In post Poirot days Florin Court has maintained its’ reputation as one of the most sought after blocks in Clerkenwell. Sitting around the historic Charterhouse Square the building offers superb facilities to its residents including a swimming pool and roof garden with stunning panoramic views west across London.

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December 16, 2014

Lettings & Property Management Services from Frank Harris & Co.

202806_ROW140130BFrank Harris & Co. would be delighted to provide you with a seamless lettings and property management service for your buy-to-let investment property, or portfolio of investment properties. We operate from our well-established offices across central London, offering a range of stunning properties, from studio apartments through to large family homes. All of our offices are linked through industry specific software which contains the properties’ attributes and details; we record tenant requirements and send out electronic alerts when suitable matches are found.

Client management and service excellence

In order to work successfully for you we make sure that we listen carefully to your specific requirements and deliver on the services we promise, aiming to exceed your expectations whenever possible. The starting point is our people; your dedicated team would bring together the relevant mix of sector, client management, lettings and property management expertise. We enjoy unrivalled knowledge of the areas local to our offices and we are willing and able to respond to any enquiries you may have. Our experienced teams are industry qualified and able to deal with all levels of enquiries.  As the only current firm of estate agents to take up membership to the Institute of Customer Service, we have placed client service firmly at the top of our business agenda, carrying out the necessary audits and staff training in order to attain accreditation from this highly-regarded organisation.  We work hard to provide a flexible, bespoke service to our clients. By listening closely, the Frank Harris & Co. teams will take time to hear the things that others can miss.

Knowledge and experience – an unrivalled track record

We have a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from working with other Landlords and high profile corporate companies and we would be happy to discuss this in further detail with you. We believe that the talent and experience that Frank Harris and Company can offer is unequalled.

Compliance

Our dedicated, experienced property management department ensures that our managed properties are fully compliant with all safety regulations (including Gas Safety, Electrical Safety and Furniture and Furnishings Acts) and that they meet with the Association of Regulated Lettings Agents (ARLA) standards; this provides an assurance to our clients that we are specialist advisors on the letting process, from the initial enquiry through to ending the tenancy and handling the deposit.

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Frank Harris and Company is confident of the value its staff will bring to you. Tracey Cumming, as Head of Lettings, and Wendy Akast, as Head of Property management, will work hard to ensure that we deliver beyond the required service levels to you; that we exceed your expectations and that our relationship with you is managed effectively at all levels.

We believe that good communication is key to successful collaborative working and we are completely committed to ensuring we maintain an ongoing, effective dialogue with you.

Costs

We are able to offer very competitive rates and would be happy to discuss this in further detail once we progress to the next stage.

Why Frank Harris & Co.?

  • An unrivalled knowledge of the property sector;
  • A bespoke estate agent with an existing property management department, enhanced continually over the years;
  • Innovative leadership which provides a dedicated resource of highly experienced people ready to facilitate your immediate needs;
  • A single point of contact for Landlord and Tenant in Property Management;
  • Access to an experienced and trusted portfolio of Contractors;
  • Regular property inspections with full written report and photos.

December 9, 2014

The Great Christmas Pudding Race

Victoria George Fran Rob Tina Rob (1) - CopyThe morning of Saturday 6th December saw Tina Evans, Georgina Rabl, Francesca Phillips & Victoria Ogilvie from the Frank Harris & Co. City Office take part in the Annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden. The four ladies made up the ‘Property Puddings’ team alongside two colleagues from Jackson-Stops & Staff; Robert Dawson from the Pimlico branch and Robert Butterworth from the Holland Park Office.The Pudding - Copy

The morning consisted of a costume parade which saw the six ‘Property Puddings’ model their fetching Christmas Pudding hats and branded t-shirts. The competitors then took part in a Zumba workout to warm themselves up as the weather was bitterly cold! This lead to the event itself- an obstacle course relay race throughout which all the competitors were carrying a Christmas Pudding! The course included several inflatable obstacles, whipped cream and icing sugar. Everyone that took part had such fun and it was made all the more worthwhile due to the £1100.00 raised so far for Cancer Research.

November 13, 2014

Just launched: Two new developments in historic #SouthBank buildings

West Apartment Bear Pitt2It’s not often you get the chance to buy a new build South Bank home set in a historic building. But this month we’ve launched two new schemes, each with a fascinating history.

The Bear Pit takes its name from the 16th century theatre and bear-baiting arena that once stood on the site. You can see it clearly shown on London’s oldest surviving map, published by Braun and Hogenberg in 1572.

To modern ears, bear-baiting doesn’t sound much fun but it was hugely popular in Tudor times. Thankfully those days are long past and it’s now a Grade II listed building that has been converted into two meticulously designed duplex apartments. Properties of such character and grandeur rarely come onto the market as new builds.Bear Pit interior

Step out from the front door and you are in the heart of London’s BanksideThe Globe Theatre and the river Thames are literally round the corner. Few properties offer such access to sophisticated London living. The Tate Modern and Borough Market are both within 500m; Blackfriars, London Bridge and Southwark tube stations are all an easy walk.

For more details about the two apartments, Pepys House and Davies House, click here.

You would be hard pressed hard to find a Victorian building more splendid than Dover House. It has been restored to its former glory to create nine breathtaking apartments. The interiors are by the world-renowned Argent Design.

These are now being sold off plan. Completion is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2015.

Built in 1895, the building was formerly the Dover Castle Hotel and Restaurant. The ornate billiard room and mirrored grill room are fine examples of Victorian good taste and craftsmanship. This has been echoed in the development. Argent Design have spared no detail and the lavish interiors do more than justice to the majestic exterior.Dover House exterior

Dover House is located on Lower Marsh at the centre of London’s cultural quarter. It’s a short stroll the Old and Young Vic theatres, the National Theatre and the South Bank’s eclectic bars and restaurants. A hop over Waterloo Bridge and you’re in Covent Gardens and the West End’s shops and theatres. Or, if your taste buds are twitching you can wander down the road to sample the delights of nearby Borough Market.

For more details about Dover House, click here.

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