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New homes agent profile - John Horton, Horton and Garton

Posted 11 April 2017 by Keith Osborne

We speak to John Horton, an experienced estate agent operating in some of the most popular parts of West London, about his local property market...

This week we talk to John Horton, director of Horton and Garton, a leading estate and letting agent in London and operating in the W6, W12 and W4 areas.

Please tell us a little about yourself and Horton & Garton.

I’ve lived, worked and raised my family in Hammersmith for over 20 years. During that time, I have amassed a wealth of contacts and property experience across all areas of our patch of West London. The dedicated team at Horton and Garton stand out from the competition by excelling at cutting through the jargon and offering an experienced, personable and professional service to vendors, landlords, buyers and renters alike. We really work tirelessly for our clients, while giving back to the local community by supporting various events and charities. We’re happy to say we have a singular combination of an impeccable reputation and unparalleled visibility within our patch.

Are property markets in the areas you operate different from London's overall property market?

Yes. There’s a wide and diverse population in our patch of Zone 2 West London. The transport connections are great; so too are the local state and private schools. Plus, we have the open spaces of the park and the scenic river Thames. Although most of the properties are quaint, terraced houses, there are more and more modern, purpose-built blocks of flats popping up.

Have you seen any particular hotspots, and what’s bringing buyers to them?

The hotspots are definitely the local catchment areas for the most sought-after primary schools and the recently opened West London Free School. Brackenbury Village and Chiswick are top of the list.

Are today's buyers from a wide demographic, or do you see interest from particular age groups or backgrounds?

It’s mostly families and young professionals who are looking for an affordable and centrally located property within the area, with a community feel.

Are you seeing more people move from central areas to Zones 3/4 and if so, what are their prime reasons?

Not really. Recently we have seen more people heading to Brighton and the West Country from our patch, as well as people moving into the borough from Central London.

What are your current favourite new homes developments for sale in your areas?

The riverside development at Queens Wharf, Hammersmith, W6, has seen a lot of interest — as too has Sovereign Court, Hammersmith, W6.

Are more buyers seeing the advantages of new homes – for example, low maintenance, low energy bills etc?

No, I don’t think so. Most buyers are interested in the character of a property and all the period features it has.

Without Help to Buy or the “Bank of Mum and Dad”, would London's property market find itself in trouble?

There are much fewer ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ buyers today than two or three years ago. We haven’t seen any Help to Buy buyers via our office at all, so I wouldn’t support the statement that the London property market would be in trouble if either or both of these weren’t around.

Are online estate agency services – many quite heavily marketed – having a significant effect on traditional agents?

No, I don’t really think they are actually. What we have found in our business is that people who use online agents often don’t get what they’re looking for. By that, I mean they can frequently experience poor service and a distinct lack of knowledge about the local property market. So, overall, a client’s decision to sell online can be costlier than using the professional services of a local agent. You really get what you pay for.

This spring's Budget was a damp squib for property – what would you change about the housing market if you were given the role of Chancellor for the day?

The first thing I would do if I were Chancellor for the day is to implement stamp duty changes to assist first-time buyers. Then, I’d tax empty properties. In this time of housing shortages, homes should be for living in — not just for investment.

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