A Chic London Mews Apartment With Unusually Large Rooms and High Ceilings

The exclusive cobblestone courtyard known as Turnchapel Mews sits between Clapham Common and Battersea Park in south London. In the mid-19th century, the now private and gated mews served as horse stables for the main houses on the surrounding streets.

A charming and quite large apartment there, the five-bedroom No. 8 Turnchapel Mews,occupies the top floor of four terraced mews houses and has a large outdoor terrace (most of the apartment is on one floor, but a small part is on a separate floor). In the 1980s, the acclaimed author Roald Dahl lived just downstairs, according to the listing agents.

“From the outside it’s hard to envisage the space within,” said Jake Russell, a director at the London firm of Russell Simpson. “However, as soon as you step inside, it opens up into this wonderful, open environment.”

“Often, mews houses have smaller proportions than a normal house, with lower ceilings and tighter rooms, but No.8  couldn’t be further from the norm,” he said.

The rooms feature a prominent peaked roof with exposed beams that add character and a sense of history. They are bright with natural light, Mr. Russell said.

You enter the home via a grand entrance hall, which leads to a stairway up to the apartment. The stairs lead directly into the dining room, with the master bedroom suite, which includes a private dressing room, off to the left. Through the dining room is the expansive drawing room.

“The kitchen is the heart of the home,” Mr. Russell said. Located on the second floor, the space features a loft-like peaked ceiling with wooden beams and three sash windows, “which create a wonderful sense of light and space.” The kitchen also has wood cabinets, marble work surfaces, an island and rustic wooden flooring.

“I would imagine this house going to a family or to someone working in the City or West End,” Mr. Russell said. “Its proximity to a number of stations means buyers can take advantage of the quick commuting time, while the private, gated nature of the mews provides a peaceful privacy.”

“It is also very close to two of the finest green spaces south of the Thames, which will appeal to families,” he said.

Read the original article on Mansion Global.

Politics, Policy and the Battle Against the ‘Mansion Tax’ : December 2014 Stamp Duty Changes

Introducing the Russell Simpson Stamp Duty Calculator to the website, along with a brief comment on the latest Stamp Duty changes implemented in December 2014.

Prime Central London property has unabashedly outperformed, with the exception of classic cars and fine wine, all other sectors of what has otherwise been a languid economic recovery and by virtue of this, provoked to varying degrees, covetous contempt. You have no doubt encountered in healthy measure the political manifestation of this in the proposal of the ‘mansion tax’ and other variations of a tax on property.

It is an idea that has gathered momentum and captured the imagination of those who have suffered greatest at the hands of the economic crisis, acting as a cathartic exercise designed to sate the appetite for retribution. An indignant Robin Hood springs to mind.

It is, however, vitally important – we feel – to emphasise that such a proposal exhibits a flagrant disregard for the long-term well-being of London and in turn our country as a fertile and alluring home, where one can put down roots, for the world’s greatest and most industrious businessmen and women, who bring with them many positives for our nation. We must take heed of the consequences of the heavily socialist policies of Francois Holland, which have so efficiently driven away the bright and brilliant offshore in France.

The latest stamp duty changes, effected in December of 2014, appear to be a combative piece of politics on behalf of the Conservative party that presents a measured and sensible alternative. It taxes the incoming purchaser who one assumes can, reluctantly, afford it (particularly since the change only becomes more expensive at £937,500). It is an adjustment in overall transactional costs that has to be evaluated and considered prior to purchase, and can therefore be avoided if necessary. It does not penalise the asset-rich cash-poor and does not indiscriminately punish those British citizens who have had the good fortune to unwittingly benefit from ownership of properties that have risen in value as our country has prospered.

What effect it will have on our market is not yet clear. It is a safe guess that rising frictional costs is likely to hamper volume of transactions. With the balance of supply and demand currently favouring the purchaser, it is also likely that the cost will be absorbed by vendors, precipitating a market wide price adjustment, southwards.

Here, below, are the tiers and breakdown of the new rules outlining these changes to the structures of our new SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax).

Residential Property Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Purchase Price of Property

Rate of SDLT (% of portion of purchase   price)

£0 – 125,000

0%

£125,001 – £250,000

2%

£250,001 – £925,000

5%

£925,001 – £1,500,000

10%

£1,500,001 +

12%

Due to the nature of the more complicated tiered system, we have devised a stamp duty calculator which is available on all sale properties on the Russell Simpson website. Alternatively, Click Here to visit the dedicated page for our Stamp Duty Calculator. 

RUSSELL SIMPSON SUPPORT BOB CHAMPION CANCER TRUST

Russell Simpson is proud to sponsor the Bob Champion Cancer Trust Carols & Champagne, fundraising event 2014, held at Chelsea Old Church, Old Church Street, London, SW3 5LT.

Russell Simpson is proud to sponsor the Bob Champion Cancer Trust Carols & Champagne, fundraising event 2014, held at Chelsea Old Church, Old Church Street, London, SW3 5LT.

The event begins at 6.30pm, opening with a carol service and each guest receiving a glass of Sloe gin upon arrival.  Talented soloist Pumeza Matshikiza, described as one of the most exciting new operatic voices, will perform for guests during proceedings.

Alan Russell, founder of specialist Chelsea estate agents Russell Simpson, said: “We’re delighted to sponsor this wonderful event that will help raise money and awareness for a very worthwhile cause. We have supported the Bob Champion Cancer Trust for a number of years and are immensely thankful for all of the hard work undertaken to help fight cancer.”

Former Champion Jockey, Bob Champion, was diagnosed with cancer in 1979, following successful treatment he beat the disease and went on to win the 1981 Grand National, with horse Aldaniti. The interest and enthusiasm generated by “racing’s greatest fairytale” led to the foundation of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust in 1983.

Five years later, the Bob Champion Cancer Research Unit was opened within the Royal Marsden NHS Trust Hospital in Sutton, Surrey. The Trust’s commitments have extended beyond the unit with two patient-related projects; the Aldaniti Rehabilitation Unit plus the Bob Champion Lounge, a leisure area for those having prolonged in-patient care.

To attend the Champagne & Carols event, or for more information about the Bob Champion Cancer trust, contact 020 7924 3553 or visit www.bobchampion.org.uk.

Property, Art and the dilemma of “Pounds Per Square Foot”

A brief observation on the rareified stratosphere of the very upper echelons of London’s property market and their similarities with art.

The rigid and stringent bounds of “pound per square footage” often ‎demarcates false boundaries in the hearts and minds of the less sophisticated buyers. The false credence of this system and its attendant myopia, to see beyond “2,000 pounds per square foot” for instance, confine and tether its most ardent advocates to mediocrity in property.

The super-prime in property, like in the art world, ‎is not governed by any mathematic law or formula. Such affairs require compassion. In the realm of this particular asset class, such methods are rendered cumbersome and inadequate.

In a deal that shattered records in its time, in the acquisition of a house that was truly spectacular, it was said by a buyer that “this house is a one off, tantamount to a unique Picasso, and clearly available to the market only once in a lifetime”. It was not a regularly traded and readily available commodity. The justification of paying a price that can bear no comparable takes its route in the value of rarity. It is the rare marriage of the countless and complex variables desired and so highly coveted that dictates and defines the price paid in these upper echelons of our market.

But further still, the finest treasures in art, like in property, preside over their peers with despotism. Like a painting, the most special houses are greater than the sum of its parts and create an intangible, impalpable chemistry and atmosphere which is hard to define and by virtue of this elevates it above its neighbours and peers. Ironically, it is the high water marks left by these prices, set by exceptional buyers, for exceptional houses, that pave the way for an escalating market in the less impressive backwaters of such an area as SW3, Chelsea.

But in spite of the prevailing current of apathy and reserve that dominates our pre-election market, these transactions are still taking place, quietly and irregularly, and thankfully, we here are privileged enough to be involved, on occasion, with the odd masterpiece. 56482_RUS140089_IMG_04

 

Russell Simpson’s market comment on “Chelsea Micro-Markets”

An insight from the market leaders in The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea into the many shades of grey that one can find in one of London’s most popular residential areas

RUSSELL SIMPSON REPORT EXPLORES THE SIX DISTRICTS OF CHELSEA

Russell Simpson highlight that the 2,965 acres that form what we all think of as Chelsea is not just one district, it’s actually six distinct hamlets or micro-markets, each with their own features, buyer profiles and top addresses, comprising; Old Chelsea, Burton Court, Chelsea Green, Chelsea Town, The Boltons, West Chelsea.

Latest figures from Lonres show that, in the past 12 months up to April 2014, 57 prime properties valued over £5M have sold in Chelsea, averaging £2,396 per sq. ft. outselling neighbouring Kensington.

Alan Russell of Russell Simpson, said: “With over 35 years of experience in the Chelsea property market, we have a formidable knowledge of Chelsea’s micro-markets, types of buyers and favoured addresses.  This review details a great deal of what there is to know about the local neighbourhoods of Chelsea, offering a detailed insight into one of London’s oldest and most famous residential areas.

Old Chelsea

Old Chelsea has been an area popular with the wealthy, as well as the artistic fraternity, throughout history.  First used as a residential base for the Saxon maritime industry, transporting chalk from the River Thames, the residential base for royals and their advisors, as well as producing the world famous Chelsea China before the porcelain works on Lawrence Street closed in the 18th Century.

    • Flat prices: £2M – £5M
    • House Prices: £3M – £50M
    • Why Buy: Historic ambience and waterfront location
    • Who Buys: International buyers (Russian, American and European), high-net worth couples and families  
    • Best address: Old Church Street, Cheyne Walk, Upper Cheyne Row Lawrence Street

 

Burton Court  

Once home to Oscar Wilde, who resided in Tite Street and once the English retreat of American filmmaker, Joseph Losey, Burton Court is Chelsea’s ‘Intellectual Quarter’ according to Russell Simpson. Various art galleries, including the Saatchi Gallery, the vast green space of Ranelagh Gardens and Burton’s Court Green and the location of Chelsea Library, Burton Court provides a calm retreat from busy inner city life. 

    • Flat prices: £1M – £6M
    • House prices: £4M – £15M
    • Why Buy: Close to sporting areas (Tennis, cricket), RHS Chelsea Flower Show, grand views, Royal Hospital, museums
    • Who Buys: Downsizers (area provides lateral flats with good views), socialites, families,       intellectuals, investors, pied-a-terre
    • Best addresses: Franklins Row, St. Leonard’s Terrace, Smith Terrace 

 

Chelsea Green 

Chelsea Green, located in the north east corner of Chelsea is described as a ‘village within the city’ by Russell Simpson. A number of local outlets, butchers, fishmongers and restaurants, based around Elystan Street, produce a traditional village ambience and sense of local community.

    • Flat prices: £1M – £4M
    • House prices: £2M – £12M
    • Why Buy: Village ambience, local produce and shops create local community feel, close to top language schools
    • Who  Buys: ‘Chelsea locals’, young continentals, investors
    • Best addresses: Markham Street, Jubilee Place

 

Chelsea Town

Chelsea Town is located along the north side of the King’s Road, stretching along most of its entirety. The array of high-end boutiques, art galleries and Michelin starred restaurants based along the King’s Road attracts wealthy internationals that enjoy having luxury on their doorstep.

  • Flat prices: £750K – £35M
  • House prices: £5M – £25M
  • Why Buy: Good family houses, Manresa Road development, large lateral flats, good restaurants, close to South Kensington
  • Who Buys: Families, investors, international purchasers (Saudi Arabians, Africans and Russians)
  • Best addresses: Manresa Road, Chelsea Square

 

The Boltons 

The Boltons is one of the best places to live in Chelsea according to the Russell Simpson report. Providing large private garden spaces, terraced gardens and garden squares, properties in The Boltons are perfect for families, with strong transport links to the West of England (A4, M4) for weekend breaks, as well as easy connections into Central London. 

  • Flat prices: £1M – £10M
  • House prices: £5M – £80M
  • Why Buy: Strong transport links to west of England (A4, M4), big garden terraces for families, family houses, ‘Hollywood Road community’
  • Who Buys: families, young professionals
  • Best addresses: The Boltons, Gilston Road, Tregunter Road, The Little Boltons, Harley Gardens

 

West Chelsea 

Popular with young affluent Chelsea residents, West Chelsea is the home of ‘The Chelsea Beach’ a stretch of bars and restaurants along Fulham Road, which can boast the young royals, Princes William and Harry, as well as the Middletons as regular visitors. 

  • Flat prices: £500K – £4M
  • House prices: £2M – £10M
  • Why Buy: Good transport links via Earl’s Court, galleries, price competitive properties, close to ‘The Beach’, on the edge of Chelsea
  • Who Buys: Young crowd (First Time Buyers, young families)
  • Best addresses: Chelsea Park Gardens, Netherton Grove, Gertrude Street, Park Walk

FAMILY & INDEPENDENCE: An interview with newly appointed Director Jake Russell, by PrimeResi.com

A ‘PrimeResi’ interview with newly appointed Director Jake Russell, touching on the firm, becoming a director, working with family, Crossrail 2 and the new website, among other things. This article was published on PrimeRes.com on 5th September 2015.

  • Congrats on the promotion – tell us about your role at Russell Simpson

Having first started in a temporary role, 11 years ago, I’ve now worked at Russell Simpson full time for six years as a Sales Negotiator and am now a Director. Day-to-day is a balance between meeting and speaking with clients, viewings and a lot of time working on promoting, finding the match between a house and its buyer and selling/negotiating on our properties. Every day is busy, no day is ever the same, but I love what I do and what we achieve on a daily basis here at Russell Simpson.

  • Tell us a bit about the firm

Established in 1979, Russell Simpson is a privately owned and independent estate agent specialising in the selling, buying and letting of residential property in prime central London. Founded and still run by Alan Russell, Russell Simpson was originally formed out of the desire to provide the highest quality of service, accompanied by and carefully balanced with a highly energetic and fiercely competitive focus on providing the very best property advice to our clients.

Russell Simpson has since grown considerably and now stands as a market leader and influential player in the prime central London property market. Having established ourselves as a discreet, professional and highly driven team, the company now thrives further still under the fully-committed management and meticulous guidance of my two brothers, Bertie and Leo, along with me.

As a family firm, operating as an independent company, we truly believe that we are able to provide an unparalleled client-focused service that is successfully results-orientated. The integrity and reputation of our business rests upon every decision being carefully considered and each client being sensitively and scrupulously supported. I suppose, it is slightly unusual that I work with my brothers and father, but the meaningful translation of this into work and results is that we are fully-committed, highly driven and an incredibly tight knit team.

And it is by virtue of our independence that we are then able to offer a different, dynamic and flexible approach. It is with this ethos and these principles that Russell Simpson today has grown to be a prominent and highly reputable business.

  • What advice would you give other family outfits for making things work? Do you tend to talk shop at family gatherings or try and keep things separate?

I think, as far as family politics is concerned, humility and generosity is the key to success and to creating the right chemistry.

The lines are certainly blurred between work and home – a lot of business is done on the mobile and outside of working hours, so I suppose it is inevitable that work carries on beyond the office and between us all, but it’s not necessarily only within ‘family’.

  • Your register goes all the way up to £40m. Where in RBKC would you buy right now if you had £10m to spend?

We have some outstanding properties on our books, but I do have a soft spot for 18 Upper Cheyne, a highlight of the past five years for me, a wide town-house in a quiet part of Old Chelsea and a house with a fantastic atmosphere and history that has really struck a chord with me.

18 upper cheyne row sw3-1

 

  • How would you describe the relationship between independent estate agents and larger corporates in PCL? Is there friction or does everyone pretty much get along?

In general, we find there is great synergy between the smaller independent agents and the larger corporates. Rarely is there any friction. We are able to offer a very different service to the larger corporate companies and as such tend to compliment one another in Joint Sole Agencies.

  • One agency in Kensington recently reported having 400 buying agents on its books. Have you seen the proportion of represented buyers change since you’ve been working at RS?

We were speaking about this only the other day – the buying agent sector of our market has changed significantly in some aspects and very little in others. It has become crowded, with the sheer quantity of buying agents rising rapidly. The market for buyers who will retain, however, I don’t feel from our stand point, has matched the rise in numbers of buying agents.

  • Competition is always fierce for the top homes in Chelsea and Kensington; what advice would you give a buyer/buying agent to ensure they’re the first phone call you guys make?

For buyers, it is simply a matter of registering. If we are in touch already and you’re not being notified of new then the agent is at fault! For buying agents, I think in this industry – which is so heavily human capital focused – it is a question of retaining an affable and friendly relationship with one another.

  • New locations were mooted for Chelsea’s Crossrail 2 Station back in June; are you in the World’s End or King’s Road camp? How do you foresee the plans affecting the area?

The World’s End ‘West Chelsea’ station looks to me to have more far-reaching positive implications, and will serve to improve an area which is well and truly out of reach and walking distance of the likes of South Kensington and Sloane Square. The plans, in either location, will be an excellent addition and serve to ‘tick the box’ in what is otherwise generally perceived to be the only thing that is missing in the area.

  • What are the key features of this new website of yours? And what are you hoping to achieve with the relaunch?

We felt the old website was not reflective of the company today, Russell Simpson has gone from strength to strength over the past five years, and we’re in a very exciting place at the moment. Hopefully the new website communicates that.

The website (below) is now uncomplicated and concise, and offers far more straight forward access to the many and varied properties available to purchase and let through us, and with this there is enriched clarity and improved usability.

We also now host a great handful of new features, geared towards an enhanced and intuitive user-experience.

Incorporating the burgeoning Social Media side of the business along with a dedicated News Page, the Russell Simpson website now delivers a clean and clear real-time connection with the front line of prime central London sales and lettings.

Aside from becoming a more efficient website for the purpose of selling and letting, the website now offers an interactive conversation with the market and its movements. Hopefully, the result of this is that we affirm our place and position as a market leader and influential player in the prime central London property market.

Over the coming months, new and unusual features are to be added, to improve the website further and set us apart from our competitors.

  • What does the future hold for Russell Simpson?

My vision is that growth is the most obvious path going forward, whilst retaining the chemistry and ethos that we have here now is what is most important to me though, and this comes first and foremost before any other agendas. I would like to strengthen the ancillary arms of the company, such as our research and development departments.

There is an inexhaustible amount of enthusiasm here to grow and become stronger as a company, matched only by the road we have planned ahead for the company’s direction. We are growing and gathering momentum in a fast and exciting way.