Top Ten Country
‘In 2016, in the country, we had a good first quarter and then the market literally died
for six months,’ says Heaton, who founded the buying firm in 2013 with a view to taking on the big firms, including Property Vision, his previous employer. ‘But we had a fantastically busy end of the year, so all in all we ended up standing still last year, which given the overall market is not a bad place to be.’
Heaton has since taken the high-end property world by storm, pulling off near impossible deals in a notoriously tricky market. Last April, in the space of just twenty days, he sourced, exchanged and completed on behalf of a client who wanted to close the deal just before the 3 per cent surcharge on stamp duty came in. ‘They frankly didn’t think they stood a hope in hell,’ he says, adding: ‘Stamp duty has had the most profound effect on the market.’
His clients are appreciative. ‘Ed was brilliant at everything, and we had a real feeling of confidence in everything he did,’ said one. ‘He went the extra mile for us,’ said another, and the firm’s success is reflected in its recent expansion into property management in London.
While the market continues to be dominated by domestic buyers, appetite from foreign buyers, especially Russians, is growing and their tastes have matured. ‘Whereas once they wanted to buy very glitzy houses with a lot of black and gold, they’re now much more likely to be seeking the old rectory or the landed estate,’ he says. And who better than Heaton, who travels more than 40,000 miles a year in search of the right homes for clients, to source it for them.