1931 was the year of the economic depression, the pound was devalued, and three and a half million people were unemployed. It was the year the Empire State Building was completed in New York, and on a whim of hope, a London property negotiator decided to follow his passion for property by opening Strettons’ first office in Hackney. This ambitious young man's name was Jack Tobin, and he was joined by his brother Sidney to found the beginnings of Strettons. A few years later, they opened a second office in Walthamstow, and the vision of building a trusted property advisory firm was set into place.
From the beginning, Strettons was a wide-ranging practice combining residential, commercial and industrial agency with a focus on surveying and other professional services. Strettons sold new homes in rapidly developing suburbs like Chingford and Edmonton that could be purchased with a £25 deposit and mortgages for the balance of purchase price between £650 and £850. Those were the days when one could buy a freehold terraced house in Hackney or Walthamstow for less than £500. Weekly rent for a small family home was around five shillings (25 pence). In 1937, Strettons first tried its hand in property auctions, selling a portfolio of 10 house investments in Manor Park, portfolios of houses in Woodford, Buckhurst Hill and Walthamstow and a site for the development of 8 flats in Walthamstow.
While Sidney served in the Royal Artillery throughout World War II, Jack, who served in the Home Guard (Dad’s Army), ran the firm, undertaking government requisitioning, advising on air-raid precautions and bomb damage surveys. Sidney and Jack finished the war as Captain and Sergeant, respectively, and reunited to run the company. Strettons handled many thousands of war damage claims for clients in the late 1940s and continued its history in building London. They were involved as industrial estates in the Lea Valley were developed on foundations made of rubble from bomb damage.
Fast forward a few decades, major company milestones and offices; Jack’s son Philip started at the Hackney office in 1965, his brother Peter joined shortly after and Sidney’s son Ben also helped keep the family tradition alive when he came on board in 1988. You can still work with all three of them now throughout their various areas of expertise. Many of our current directors came in to pave the new future of the company in the 1980s, and they still uphold the same vision and ethos Strettons has always had, with a level of trust and knowledge their clients have come to expect.
Present-day, with over 120 people between our East & North London and City & City Fringe offices and nationwide in our auctions and property management services, Strettons looks ahead with confidence. As in 1931, Strettons still offers the same commercial and residential agency expertise, property management experience, auctions and valuation and advisory services throughout the UK. The only difference now is their knack for technology, and the valuations are slightly higher.