The fallout from Brexit has been a “double-edge sword” for rapidly expanding estate agency Johns And Co. “We didn’t see it coming,” said residential director Clynton Nel. “And it was a big shock for our managing director as, being Irish, the impact on him is more personal.”
The firm was founded by John Morley in 2013 and specialises in premium new homes and luxury real estate, working on developments such as New Providence Wharf, Embassy Gardens and 21 Wapping Lane.
“We have had quite a lot of people renegotiate prices on sales,” said Clynton on the effect of the vote to leave the EU. “We felt it in sales but not as badly as we thought we would.
“But it has shored up lettings as people have come out of the woodwork and renewed or they have been more circumspect about their break clause because they want to commit to a fixed period.”
Reassignments are big business for the firm and Clynton said 75% of the sales it deals with were investment purchases, usually for individuals or couples looking to expand their property portfolios.
About 50% of those are overseas investors.
The 39-year-old, who is based at the company’s recently opened head office in Marsh Wall said Brexit had been both positive and negative in terms of foreign buyers.
“It has caused uncertainty but at the same time they are getting massive discounts because of the exchange rate and the pound being so weak,” said Clynton.
The firm’s new South Quay location is a break from tradition for the brand, which aims to distinguish itself in the sector by opening offices at the development sites it is working on.
Clynton said: “We like people to be able to meet us face to face.
“There is no calling up wondering where the person you are speaking to is based.
“It give tenants a real person to speak to and landlords peace of mind that we are there, seeing what is happening.”
He said the company has had a “rapid rise” in the last year with a 200% increase in revenue, staff numbers more than doubling since January to 39 and plans made to open more offices in London.
He said: “It’s an exciting time, almost manic, but who wants to be sat around twiddling their thumbs?”
The aim of the new location, it’s fifth so far, is to capitalise on the huge amount of development happening on the Isle of Dogs.
Located directly opposite South Quay Plaza and surrounded by developments such as Wardian, Baltimore Tower, Dollar Bay and Ability Place.
Clynton said “There will be 4,000 residential homes built here over the next eight-to-10 years. This is a very fast growing side of London and it’s arguable that’s not going to change in the short-term even with Brexit.
“I don’t have a crystal ball but I think London is still going to be an attractive place to invest.”
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