There's a new force to be reckoned with in Mayfair property.
Words by Hardeep Sandher
December 2019 saw a meeting of minds between two prominent agencies.
The Wetherell name has been running as an independent estate agent for close to 40 years. It has become synonymous with prime luxury property sales across the West End.
Yet with more than 50 per cent of the Mayfair market now rented, its agency needed to branch out into the management space and increase its foothold in leasing.
“My five-year strategy for the company made me realise that the future is in the lettings market with over 50 per cent of the Mayfair market made up of rental properties,” says founder and chief executive Peter Wetherell.
“Although Wetherell has an active and successful lettings department, what we don’t have is management.”
Mayfair's residential growth
Wetherell’s ambition is to double – if not treble – its lettings and management business as Mayfair returns to its residential legacy.
“Pre-1920s, Mayfair was a residential location with great mansion houses. These were pulled down to make way for hotels and apartment blocks.
“Fast-forward 100 years and we are now returning to a spectacular residential era, with a wave of seven-star luxury living,” he adds.
“Residential developments today include everything from in-house dining services and cinemas to underground parking.
“But the old mansion houses cannot compete with this luxury residential that is on offer. And so there is an opportunity to clean and polish these assets and ensure they are let and managed properly.”
Dexters has a history that stretches back almost 20 years in the lettings and management space. The group works with around 27,000 landlords.
The firm was set up by Jeff Doble in 1993 and has acquired several businesses over the years.
In 2019 the firm recorded revenues of £99.3 million for the year.
“It is less than four years since we rebranded our acquired brands to become a single entity under the Dexters name,” says Richard Page, marketing director at Dexters.
“To that end, we are still a fairly new name in central London. And when it comes to the Mayfair prime London market, there is only one name that is pre-eminent in the area.
“So it felt very natural to have a conversation with Peter about joining together,” Richard adds.
The firm has a very active corporate lettings and international relocation department. It deals with 200 people a week, he says.
“So a lot of the work Dexters will do in Mayfair will be behind the scene. But it will be a huge boost for the lettings department at Wetherell as well.”
Wetherell agrees: “I want to double, if not treble, the size of the lettings that we have on our books, and Dexters is providing me with the engine to be able to do this.”
“Fifty per cent of people living in Mayfair over the coming years will be aged between 21 and 44.”
“These people want to live in Mayfair for the experience, for its charm, its culture, and its leisure offerings.
“But they don’t necessarily want to commit to ultra-long-term purchases,” he added.
As for the future, it is looking rosy as there was a growth in demand following the general election.
And, both Wetherell and Page believe 2020 will see property transactions increase.
Find out more about Wetherell from their website: wetherell.co.uk
Find out more about Dexters from their website: dexters.co.uk
Main picture left to right: Jeff Doble, Chairman of Dexters & Peter Wetherell, Chief Executive of Wetherell.
Second picture: Wetherell. The Bryanston.