Top Ten London Selling
James Forbes is ‘a key driver’ behind the growth of Strutt & Parker’s Sloane Street office, which the firm says is ‘one of the most successful’ in the prime market – so much so that he’s recently had a grudging nod of approval from a famously fiery competitor. True to his calibre, he achieved transactions worth around £200 million in 2019, in what many other agents considered a difficult year.
Forbes has specialised in London prime property since 1997 and operates across Knightsbridge, Belgravia and beyond. ‘I have a bit of a hybrid role,’ he says, referring to his expertise in selling homes in golden postcodes to focusing on some of the most expensive new-build schemes.
‘There’s certainly been an attraction for the Asian buyer to get their money to the UK,’ Forbes reveals, adding that investors have a pattern of spending ‘tens of millions’ across a number of different units, mostly in the second home new-build space.
Forbes’s position and experience gives him an aerial view of the property industry, which he says is undergoing consolidation. ‘Not as much as I expected,’ he says, but he sees change as a good thing, especially in terms of more regulation around professional qualifications at the top end: ‘The industry as a whole needs a bit of a shake-up – I think we can be more efficient in many ways.