Lucie Hirst and Delphine Colombo, two of Prime Central London’s most high profile sales agents, have combined forces to set up Hirst Colombo buying service.
Hirst is the daughter of Natalie Hirst, who used to run Savills’ buying arm, Prime Purchase; Lucie Hirst is herself ex Savills and ex Knight Frank.
Colombo has worked for 12 years with Winkworth in Knightsbridge and Hamptons International in Sloane Square.
In an interview with Prime Resi magazine, Colombo says: “We received incredible support from our respective agencies and everyone else in the market. ... We have had a fantastic start and most of our clients come from recommendations.”
She says the pair’s original business plan was to focus on Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea “which, from our experience, is predominantly a mixture of overseas investors and downsizers” but they have adapted to the needs of clients who are “looking all over London and for a variety of reasons.”
Meanwhile Hirst tells Prime Resi that despite the pair’s background in sales, with 20 years’ experience between them, they will avoid any conflict of interest.
“We will always only ever act for the purchaser or tenant and feel that the estate agents are best placed to sell or let a property. We are very conscious to avoid areas of potential conflict” she insists.
Hirst says that PCL prices have decreased by at least 15 per cent from the peak in late 2014 and are likely to remain flat for the rest of the year, adding: “A large proportion of property at the top end of the market is being sold below the guide price.”
She says: “Brexit uncertainties have certainly impacted the property market negatively in terms of pricing and transaction volumes. This, together with the prospect of possible interest rate rises, will have further implications on house prices. ... It would be a huge risk not involving property professionals, on either side of the transaction.”