Property of the week: Ovington Square proves that vendors are looking for flexible solutions to sell their homes in an uncertain market

Melissa York
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Living room

It’s no secret that property prices in prime central London are starting to plateau and, in some cases, fall. We’re all aware of the problems – overzealous estate agents, Stamp Duty increases, Brexit – but how can you make the best of it if you’re selling your house?

Prime estate agency Russell Simpson thinks it’s spotted an unusual solution emerging; put the property on both the lettings market and the sales market at the same time.

This serves the dual function of letting the vendor move on in the full knowledge the mortgage is taken care of, and it allows increasingly insecure buyers to ‘test drive’ the home before they put the money down.

“After the market-altering events of 2016, we’re seeing a shift in the attitudes of buyers and sellers,” says Hattie Russell, sales manager at Russell Simpson. “We certainly think this is going to be an ongoing and much-talked about trend throughout the year.

Garden off the living room

"We’ve already had a number of enquiries from potential purchasers interested in the ‘try before you buy’ element on offer. The increases in Stamp Duty have made the cost of purchasing increase, so buyers are more cautious of jumping into a decision before being 100 per cent sure.”

That’s why Ovington Square, pictured, is being advertised with three prices; £4,750 per week for a long-let (anything over six months), £6,500 per week for a short let or you can buy it outright for £4.5m.

Two further properties on Beaufort Street and Draycott Place, both in Chelsea, are also being marketed in this way, costing £1,750 per week or £2.75m and £1,900 per week or £3.5m respectively.

Ovington Square, however, is thought to be the most expensive currently on the market in this form. Sitting in an enclave around the corner from Harrods, the private garden square it overlooks has been home to Woody Allen, Joan Collins, Sienna Miller and all four of the Beatles in its time.

Kitchen dining space

Spanning 1,855sqft, the ground-floor, three bedroom property also has two bathrooms, a separated kitchen and dining room, a bar and a living space that opens onto a private garden at the back. Recently refurbished, the main event is the master bedroom suite featuring a walk-in dressing room and a steam room.

It remains to be seen whether this strategy can get the prime market moving, but as they say, there’s no harm in trying.

Call Russell Simpson on 020 7225 0277 or visit

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