Chestertons acquires Downtown International

Wednesday 22 November 2017
Salah Mussa
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Chestertons MENA, a leading property agency with its regional hub in Dubai, has finalised its acquisition of Downtown International, the multinational real estate agency and broker for residential developments in major cities across the globe.

The acquisition adds value to Chestertons existing international real estate offering, meeting increased demand for London property in particular.

“Downtown International has forged a market-leading reputation for international real estate brokerage having developed an impressive network of 150,000 property investors. Its clients include prominent industry players such as The Berkeley Group, Ronson Capital Partners, Taylor Wimpey Central London, Barratt London and Regal London. The firm has also represented developers of branded residential developments such as; Banyan Tree, Four Seasons, JW Marriott, Mandarin Oriental and Ritz-Carlton,” said Salah Mussa, Chairman of Chestertons MENA.

“Through this acquisition, we look forward to leveraging the expertise and reach of Downtown International, to bring all of our clients the best opportunities in the most sought-after locations. Our combined experience and commercial expertise in identifying and developing new opportunities, will undoubtedly provide us with a competitive edge,” he added.

Martin Ashkuri, former CEO of Downtown International, will become the new Managing Director of International Residential Developments (IRD) for Chestertons MENA and will head up sales worldwide.

Martin Ashkuri brings more than 20 years’ experience to the role having built an extensive network and knowledge of international and domestic property sales having previously worked for Dubai Lifestyle City, a subsidiary of ETA Ascon Star Group; Cirrus Real Estate; First Gulf Banks’s Freehold Property Division; and MiNC Property Enterprises.

“The acquisition affords Chestertons significantly improved access to high-value, high-yield markets at a time of heightened demand. This new and exciting chapter for Chestertons is great news for all of our stakeholders,” said Nick Witty, Managing Director of Chestertons MENA.

“Our team is set to grow significantly, allowing us to provide even higher levels of service to our valued clients. This comes at a time when London presents significant investment opportunities across a range of new developments. With more resources than ever before, we can support our clients in fulfilling their objectives, maximising their returns and adding value to their asset base,” added Witty.

London was the most attractive market for Chestertons’ MENA investors in 2015, when the firm facilitated investments of AED265 million in the UK capital’s real estate market, representing more than 70% of total sales of nearly AED 379 million.

Investors from Kuwait topped the GCC list, accounting for 21% of total London sales through Chestertons, followed by Saudi Arabia (17%), Qatar (10%), UAE (10%) and Bahrain (7%). The balance of other buyers was comprised of nationals from the UK, Switzerland and Iran.

According to multiple sources, the London market has posted robust performance Year-to-Date, with solid demand and a marginal rebound in prices. While these results are driven by the launch of several prestigious projects in high-value areas, several regeneration schemes have also launched across the city.

On Tottenham Court Road, for example, 500 homes are due to be developed and 5,000 additional jobs created, following extensive upgrades to the underground station and the opening of Crossrail from 2018. Meanwhile, in Croydon, investments of up to £5.25 billion are predicted to generate 7,500 new jobs and create capacity for an extra 7,300 new homes.

A further £1bn will be invested to reposition Croydon as a premier shopping destination in South London, creating retail, commercial and public space and thousands of jobs, providing further potential for investors.

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