Jan 19, 2023
First things first, we LOVE Trellick Tower. Why? Well, to be honest, it’s quite hard to explain. Its big butch exterior certainly isn’t what you would call, naturally welcoming. It has had 50 years of wear and tear and I don’t think it’s ever had an uplifting lick of paint…ever, but, its Trellick. We all know by now it was built by our Hungarian hero Erno Goldfinger, in 1972. Post-World War Two II, following the destruction of nearly 4 million houses Erno was commissioned to save the day with some high-rise architecture, and he did just that! Erno was known as a humourless man who often succumbed to fits of notorious rage. Nice! He once forcibly threw two prospective clients out of a meeting because the merely suggested potential changes to one of his designs. I think a lot of his nature came out in his work. To someone who doesn’t know the heart of Trellick, the brutalist architecture looks cold and unwelcoming. In fact, when the building was completed it was well known that it was unpopular amongst residents, the local community and to be honest, most post-modernist architects. So, in short, we have an ugly building, built in an ugly style, by an angry man who had a James Bond character named after him (Auric Goldfinger), so what is all the fuss about? In 2022 Trellick Tower celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Anyone who attended that event will be able to tell you what is so special about this place. It’s first and foremost best quality is its community. During Thatcher’s premiership in the early 80’s she released her ‘Right to Buy’ scheme that allowed council property residents to purchase their homes. This has allowed a huge diversity and culture within the estate that can rarely be found anywhere else. The Hall of Fame Graffiti Wall is infamous in the community and local area, with the basketball hoops being featured in a host of film, music and TV appearances. I suppose most recently being that of established UK grime artists like Digga D, Central Cee, and AJ Tracy whose talent was incubated by that of the community and surrounding communities of Trellick and other local estates. It is also found featuring in ‘For Queen and County’ with Denzel Washington and it was used in the ‘Bandersnatch’ episode of Black Mirror written by Charlie Brooker. For all of its short snippets in the limelight that is not what makes Trellick Special. Given the eclectic mix of residents within the building you can find all sorts of weird and wonderful people. At Noahs we believe we have sold one of the most recent apartments in the building in 2020. The new owners have decided to restore the flat to as close to its original construction as possible. Reinstating the original steel skiting boards and architrave, painstakingly removing the plaster off of the walls to get back to the original concrete interior and bring back Erno’s brutalist concept. What does the future look like for Trellick Tower and the estate on which it stands? Well it has certainly come full circle from its days as a vision of the future to a relic of the past, and back again. Although it has stood for 50 years, at Noahs London we hope it will continue to be an important landmark overlooking London for many more decade to come!
Nov 12, 2020
The London Property Market: Are You Ready For The Rebound? Remember January 2020, when the biggest discussion anybody had about Corona was whether or not you should put a lime in it? Those were the days, because back then 2020 was looking like it was going to be a pretty solid year for the residential property market. We were just about shaking off the aftermath of Brexit, during which time buyers had been scared to buy and sellers were, well, scared to sell. Mortgage approvals were at a 6 year high and price growth returned to London. We could really see the light! And the COVID happened. 124,000 Sales Lost After the Government introduced a lockdown mid-March, 370,000 home sales were put on hold. For a while, the market was just about keeping its head above the water, with those agents who are more ferocious than most trying all the tricks in the book to seal the deal before the inevitable happened, but by May, sales fell by around a half and approvals sank to an all time low. Zoopla estimates that around 124,000 sales were lost as a result. Of course, because it became nigh-on impossible to book a viewing let alone get a contract in place, many were forced to wait before moving forward with their property, so it’s no wonder the market dipped. During that time, yes, as an industry we suffered, as did most. Some companies folded and went into liquidation, others had to reduce staff numbers and extend sales. Others, though, decided to use a little innovation and embrace the opportunity to take the stigma that surrounds the industry and turn it upside-down. It was clear to us that as there are increasingly more ways for homeowners and landlords to sell and rent their homes online, and in particular over the last few months we rely more on and trust more in the online community, the industry really did need a complete overhaul. At Noah’s we maximise the use of the web and combine it with beautiful photography, good, user-friendly tech and exceptional service to do the best job we can. We want to bring the fun back to the property market. What happened to the excitement - the thrill of viewing a potential home - or even selling one?! Several sore suits and bad attitudes probably, but we’re here to fix it. Buyer Enquiries Increase by 75% Toward the end of May, lockdown was eased somewhat and estate agents were reopened (hello Noahs!). Suddenly, despite a weak economic backdrop, the housing market didn’t just rebound - it rocketed! The latest data according to CBRE was hugely positive, with a fourfold increase in approvals in June and weekly transactions in England back to pre-COVID levels. What’s more, a 1.7% increase in house prices was recorded in July, completely reversing the fall in June. As a result, annual house price growth recovered to +1.5%, with buyer enquiries 75% higher in July 2020 compared with July 2019. The number of sales agreed is up 15% on last year. Fancy a little more encouraging data? How about this; it’s also reported that 44% of all properties newly listed in the first month the market reopened are already sale agreed, which is compared with just 34% for the equivalent dates last year. Zoopla reported buyer demand is 1.5 times higher than June 2019 and 46% higher than pre-COVID levels. Then they went and introduced a stamp duty holiday to boot! 40,000 Home Sales Predicted Both Rightmove and Zoopla have reported an incredible increase in traffic, particularly since the announcement of the stamp duty holiday, which means stamp duty is only payable on properties above £500,000 until 31st March 2021 (Rightmove reported a 35% jump in annual sales volumes in the five days immediately following the announcement!). It is predicted that the holiday could lead to a 6% rise in transitions over the next 9 months - which is the equivalent to just over 40,000 sales. Need more reasons to buy/sell now? The cost of debt is at a record low and the average mortgage rates on two and five year fixed are at an all time low too, which means people are in a better position to buy. Add to that the fact that there will be fewer new build completions in the next few years, with the number of workers on site having to be reduced due to social distancing and supplies being delayed, that means that more buyers will be looking to pre-loved/secondhand homes instead. So now is the time to get your home looking sexy and in shipshape ready to sell! London’s Coming Back to Life; HELLO MR VACCINE Despite the rumours being true in regards to the number of city residents contemplating escaping to the country and contacting estate agents to buy a home in a village rising by 126% in June & July (compared to the same period last year), at Noahs we are hearing some exciting things! We meet all different people from all walks of life in our industry and since the announcement of the vaccine it is clear that they are all planning for London to reignite! Not only that, there is also crossrail coming into play. London still remains the central hub for most businesses, and those moving out of the City seeking a more comfortable and affordably luxurious lifestyle will soon be able to commute back to the office faster and more comfortable than ever! If you’re looking to sell a home in London right now, all you need is an experienced and honest agent to take the reins. LOCKDOWN 2.0 Let’s Get Going For the team here at Noahs, the disruption in the market hasn’t phased us - it’s excited us! Now is not the time to put off selling your home or buying a new property, in fact, with the right guidance and support from us, it is the perfect time. We will give you constructive feedback and suggest the best ways in which to present your home. We’re not a huge agency who’ll throw your home to the bottom of the pile, we’ll ensure it gets the same dedicated care as any other home among our listings. We’ll give it top coverage on our social media channels, provide full video tours, offer virtual viewings and upload high-end quality photography. Yes, it’s been a struggle for the industry, but allow us to reassure you, the struggle is over, now it’s time to sell some homes!
Jun 8, 2020
The Awkward Friend Most of us have that awkward friend. The one who we dread inviting over for dinner with others because they’re not particularly sociable and somehow manage to make even the most casual of situations feel awkward just by being there. They’re usually too quiet or too brash and either way have a difficult time blending in, probably because they’re wearing an obscure hat or bizarre cardigan. So, what’s the difference between that friend and the friend who everyone describes as “quirky” instead? The quirky mate can read the room, has a little more self-awareness, knows exactly how to blend in (despite being completely out of place) and has worked out that if you pair your funky hat with some good conversation, you can absolutely rock it. The same can be said for those frustratingly difficult-to-sell spaces in your home. Awkward spaces are a massive turn-off for a potential buyer who is unable to imagine a way in which to fill it or make it work for them. Despite the additional area an awkward space may well offer in terms of square footage, if they can’t find a use for it, you can bet it’ll end up as the reason they choose to carry on looking elsewhere. However, if they look upon that same space as a fun quirk they can’t wait to show their friends, you may well be talking numbers before the viewing is over. Luckily, transforming awkward spaces into inspiring, checklist-ticking, quirky features in your home has become very en-trend of late, and we’ve been keeping notes. Trust us, you don’t need the likes of George Clarke to show you how it’s done - that is, unless you want to build a wigwam with windows made of recycled bottle caps... If all you want is to turn your sale-preventing corner or room into a quality attribute within your home, on a budget and with minimal effort, we can help. Here are some quick wins... Statement lighting We’ve all swooned after a ceiling light or floor lamp we didn’t think we were cool enough to pull off featuring in our living room - well guess what? Your awkward space is crying out for a moment in the spotlight. The worst thing you can do is pretend these spaces aren’t there, in fact we recommend you show them off more. So shine a light, give your space a little attention-grabbing, conversation starting illumination! Alternative chairs People have written essays on the impact a single chair can have, art has been created around a person’s favourite seat. Adding a bespoke stool, a kooky armchair or even an upcycled stadium bench(!) doesn’t just give you another opportunity to add a little more personality to your home, it gives the space a purpose too. It’s a spot on a landing to sit and catch your breath, a perch by the window to admire your surroundings - or the perfect place to pile clean washing for collection. Indoor plants The quickest way to give a little life to a corner otherwise forgotten? Add a plant. No need to spend more time in your local garden centre than you already do, head online to one of the many very millennial plant retailers and buy with one click. They’ll even tell you the ones which require the least effort to keep alive. Your space might only call for a sweet pot plant on a tiny table, but a large palm or monstera presented in a gorgeous ceramic planter will really help to enhance a room. Wall hangings We’ve specifically said “wall hangings” here because actually, you can hang almost anything on a wall! From summer holiday hats and beads, to pressed foliage and family photos, sometimes just one frame will not do! We can spend so much time curating the furniture and features in our home to make them picture-perfect, that we forget about including the real personal touches too. So, how about creating a quirky corner all about you? Smart storage Gone are the days where the only place you could store you sh*t was in the loft or crammed on top of the wardrobe. Nowadays, you have the luxury of making your storage solution a feature in your home, and that awkward space you can’t really fit much in is the ideal place for it. Carefully pile vintage trunks filled with your old magazines and lounge throws, fill a button leather footstool with wires you know you’ll need some day. Storage, but make it fashion, ya know? If you’ve an awkward space you feel is holding back the sale of your home, our guys are full of quirky ideas, so just give us a call if you’d like us to come take a look!
Apr 26, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival Notting Hill Carnival is one of those events that divides the Notting Hill residents! Some can't wait for it, and they spend their evenings and weekends tirelessly working on their costumes and outfits and some spend their evenings and weekend planning their less eventful weekend elsewhere! Since the very first time it was held in 1966 it has never been missed...until now. COVID-19 has yet again reared its ugly head in our day to day and put a stop to the Notting Hill Carnival for the first time in history. The Carnival weekend is about celebrating Caribbean culture and traditions in London and now more than ever I feel like London would have celebrated it like never before! The first “carnival” – organised by black Marxist Claudia Jones was a defiant response to the racists that attacked Notting Hill the year before. In recent years the Carnival has been accused of too much corporate sponsorship, which some believe dilutes its radical roots, but I feel like 2020 would have bought back more than ever the emphasis on the importance of celebrating this culture and although BLM activists have always been present at the carnival I think this year they would have rightly had the strongest support in recent years. With people standing up to the oppression and blatant racism in the world the Carnival would have been so wonderful for highlighting the issues that need addressing. It has done this since 1966 but now more than ever, people are listening! Even though the Carnival may not happen this year there is a movement that we all need to get behind and support! Yes, we are Estate Agents and our platform is mainly used to sell and let property, but it’s our responsibility as people to do our part, and use what tools we have, and we believe, Black Lives Matter! Whether the Carnival gets you jumping for joy or nipping out of London for a quieter weekend, it cannot be argued that it is a vitally important part of our culture and Notting Hill and London are less for it not being on this year.
Apr 19, 2020
The Notting Hill Local Hero and the Furloughed Foodies! As we all know the Coronavirus has had a devastating affect on just about every aspect of our lives. For most of us though it may just be something of a minor inconvenience. Ricky Gervais was recently asked about how he was coping with Lockdown life and he responded with “You’ll never hear me complain. Not when there’s nurses doing 40-hour shifts” This is the kind of attitude we love. However, what we love even more is when one of our very own local residents stands up and decides to go and do more than his or her fair share. Floris ten Nijenhuis, a local resident found himself to be one of the many London workforce who were furloughed. Paying close attention to the fact that all restaurants were closed and supermarkets were overstretched with often long queues to get in, he made the connection that our Local Super Hero’s, our NHS Doctors and Nurses needed their own mini hero’s. Floris took it upon himself to start cooking healthy meals for those NHS staff who didn’t have easy access to good food. It wasn’t long before Floris had built a 400-man team of furloughed Londoners who now cook and deliver to over 15 hospitals and GP surgeries in West London! Oh and did we mention he and his team have also raised over £15,000 in donations since starting their service in April. Furloughed Foodies as it is now known, is one the Notting Hill Residents contributions to the National Response to COVID-19. All we want to say at Noahs is THANK YOU Floris, THANK YOU Furloughed Foodies, and THANK YOU to all of you at our NHS. We love and appreciate you for all that you have done and you are still doing!