Radlett agent Village Estates is marking 25 years in business this year. When Neil Landau set up the company, the average asking price for a modest home in the South East was around £36,000. A quarter of a century down the line, recent findings by the research department at Chesterton Humberts puts the average price of a house in north London at £367,594, up 1.2 per cent on this time last year and more than 10 times Mr Landau's figure.
Village Estates began trading from a tiny office, just 100 yards from where it operates today at 70d Watling Street. Mr Landau still runs the company, with his son Daniel working alongside him. He fondly recalls selling his first home in Regents Close, Radlett, for £285,000. Today it would be valued at more than £1 million. Radlett is well known for its upscale properties. Village Estates recently sold a house here for £5.6 million.
Mr Landau says that the biggest change during his career has been to buying patterns - due to the internet. "Village Estates has absorbed these changes without compromising on the pleasantries of dealing with customers as valued clients, rather than faceless email addresses," he says.
Warren Rosenberg, Village Estates' co-founder, who now runs property developer Fusion, says Mr Landau's "undoubted knowledge and expertise of the property scene in Radlett and wider afield in Hertfordshire is second to none. I am sure it will stand him in good stead for the next 25 years - whatever the economy brings."