John Ennis, CEO of Chestertons tells us about his vision for the company, and his predictions for the London property market going forward
Photograph by Kathy Ann-Lim
WHEN DID YOU START AT CHESTERTONS AND WHAT DREW YOU TO THE COMPANY?
I started my role as Chestertons’ CEO at the beginning of November 2022. Having worked nearly a quarter of a century in the industry, I’ve always known Chestertons to be a very strong, recognisable brand that’s steeped in history, but over the past few years, I’ve watched it grow rapidly in both size and reputation and really wanted to be a part of its future. It now has one of the largest networks of offices in London, numerous branches across the world, one of the strongest lettings divisions in the industry, a fantastic research department analysing every movement of the market, and some very clever technology behind it.
WHERE WERE YOU BEFORE?
I was at Foxtons for 23 years, working my way up to managing director of Central London, looking after 16 sales and lettings offi ces, as well as the new homes division of 11 offices.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR CHESTERTONS?
The buying, selling and renting process is incredibly – and arguably increasingly – complex and my vision is to find new ways of making it simpler, quicker and more enjoyable for our clients. This involves studying how consumer habits have changed, exploring new technology, and introducing new client-focused processes. I’m also keen to start another exciting chapter of growth and expansion for Chestertons. This will mean that people will start seeing Chestertons appearing in new places, both here in London, and also across the world. I’m also pleased to share with you that we have recently signed a partnership agreement with Forbes Global Properties – a platform that now allows Chestertons to leverage Forbes’ global reach and enormous audience. This undoubtedly provides real benefts to Chestertons’ clients as it enables us to get our clients’ properties the right exposure and deliver them the best results. Equally important, however, remains Chestertons’ efforts to support the local communities by driving charitable activities such as our annual Coat Drive with charity London Calling. Last year, our branches’ outreach resulted in over 6,000 coat donations, which were then distributed to help vulnerable Londoners through the winter months.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LONDON PROPERTY MARKET?
There are always ups and downs in the market and so short-term speculation is risky, but I am of the fi rm belief that London property will remain an excellent medium and long-term investment. There is widespread speculation about prices falling dramatically this year, but Chestertons’ research department has analysed that prices will only dip slightly this year before a strong rebound in 2024. Much of our confidence in the market rests on the fact that there are simply not enough properties to meet the amount of demand from people who want to live in London; one of the most vibrant and wonderful cities in the world.
WHAT ARE THE LONDON HOT-SPOTS TO KEEP AN EYE ON?
One of the exciting aspects of the London property market is that new hotspots are constantly emerging all across the Capital. Especially over the past few years, London has seen new and fantastic communities being created with the regeneration of King’s Cross, Wembley Park, and Battersea Power Station. With the Elizabeth Line in place, I think there will be further potential for improvement in the west and east of the city, such as Southall and Romford. In the meantime, the already well-established areas of the Capital will continue to draw in buyers and renters for different reasons. Whilst leafy neighbourhoods such as Richmond in the south west and Muswell Hill in the north remain popular with families, young professionals are increasingly being drawn to the more affordable east, to areas like Stratford, Leytonstone and Mile End.