'I bought my first home at 18' says Oliver McHugh - as estate agent Oliver's Town marks 25 years
PUBLISHED: 14:05 09 July 2013
Â© Rena Pearl
Camden estate agent's Oliver's Town is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. In the latest in our series of features on the people behind businesses in Hampstead, founder Oliver McHugh speaks about his passion for property.
They are often ranked alongside lawyers, politicians and journalists in lists of the most hated professions.
But one would be unlikely to accuse Camden-born estate agent Oliver McHugh of fitting the unflattering stereotypes often associated with his trade.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the independent firm that he founded, Oliver’s Town, is now celebrating 25 successful years, having survived two major recessions to become a mini-empire straddling Hampstead, Primrose Hill and Kentish Town.
“It does bother me,” he said of the tendency to bash estate agents. “I don’t think [estate agents] deserve the name we’ve got.
“We’re affiliated with all the bodies and we’re very professional in the way that we do business.
‘‘Being an independent, we can give more service and care and attention.”
The first branch of Oliver’s Town opened in 1988, at the junction of Kentish Town Road and Prince of Wales Road.
Since then the firm has gone from strength to strength, opening offices in Primrose Hill and recently Hampstead, with the latest branch arriving in Pond Street in May of last year.
“I’m proud of the achievement,” he said. “We’ve got through two major recessions and we’re a rapidly growing company.”
Oliver’s Town has established itself as a firm with a strong sense of community – far from the caricature of flashy types who only care about sales.
Since opening in Hampstead, the company has raised funds for such worthy causes as the Marie Curie Hospice Hampstead, while offering backing to the Hampstead Summer Festival and the Hampstead Shops Campaign, which supports independent businesses in NW3.
Mr McHugh, who grew up in Camden Town and now lives in Kentish Town, admits he was drawn to property from a young age.
“I had a passion for property,” he said.
“The different styles of houses always fascinated me, so it was a more or less forgone conclusion that in some way, shape or form my future would be property-orientated.”
He even claims to have bought his first home at 18.
“I started work at very young age and started saving and saving. Everyone wants to own their own home at some point in life. The excitement was there from a young age,” he said.
Having started so young, he could be forgiven if his enthusiasm for property had waned somewhat. But he said: “I still get a buzz out of moving the company forward.”
* Oliver’s Town is a member of the Hampstead NW3 Business Association. To find out more about the organisation and what it does, email email@example.com, visit www.nw3hampstead.com, or follow @NW_3Hampstead on Twitter