When his profile was written last year, Peter Wetherell was on a roll. Asked how long his reign at the top of Mayfair property would continue, his reply showed the eagerness of a man faced with many years of school fees still left for his young children. After record successes this year — two off-market deals at £25 million each and three at £15 million, as well as a £100 million instruction — he can certainly afford to have a few more little Wetherells. He tells Spear’s that he’s been busy dealing with the ‘two Vs — value and volume’, saying value is staying but the volume of transactions is now down by 50 per cent from the ‘good old days of 2013’. Recent highlights include a Mayfair mansion sold on offer at nearly £5,000 per square foot for £48 million; an ‘uncut gem’ of a house from the 1740s; and the ‘record’ sale, after 40 viewings and 14 offers, of an unmodernised apartment on Charles Street. His beloved stomping ground, is, he says, halfway through a ‘Golden Decade’ — ‘we are increasing homes by over ten per cent and the residential population by 25 per cent,’ he says. ‘We are the retail, cultural and commercial centre of prime central London. Once you include the hotels and hospitality offering of five-star hotels and Michelin-star restaurants, then there is no other area that can compete. Mayfair is not just catching up with Belgravia and Knightsbridge prices,’ he says, ‘it’s reclaiming the crown that we had in the 1970s as the most expensive location in London.’After almost 35 years in the business it seems the only things that can get him down are tax regulations. He underlines non-dom, capital gains, stamp duty and inheritance taxes as creating international concern with 13 major tax changes since 2013. In such a challenging environment, Wetherell has a cutting outlook on the competition: ‘People have forgotten the old phrase “you pay peanuts- you get monkeys.”’ The best agents obtain the best prices – through best teams, knowledge and negotiating experience’. He lists his official title as founder and chief executive, highlighting the distinction between them. While the latter involves ‘giving the team the tools to win our way through a very competitive market’, his role as founder and leader of the firm allows him to bring his full complement of skills – hard-won over the last 35 years in the industry – to the fight.
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