As someone who is just short of 6’5″ I have been hearing this line since I sprouted at a young age. Now I am often asked it in a different context…….mainly about the “state” of the UK property market, and where I see it being and going.
Now I don’t have a crystal ball or time machine, if I did there would be no need for 70 hour weeks and travelling the world actually looking for international investment into our business and the UK property market (I would be travelling the world however) – BUT I do have a fairly healthy obsession with market forecasting, trend analysis and economics. Yep, I am that loser, and proud.
I use obsession loosely, of course I only try to control the controllable, but I do have a detailed interest in what is occurring, and likely implications. So what are they (a mon avis – yep French too);
OK so my current thoughts on the market are (and by the way this everywhere beyond the micro market of London – London is 18 months to 2 years ahead of the rest of the UK – they had their boom quicker and they have felt their drop already);
– We are sailing a very false economy – interest rates are low and amateurs are building a portfolio against an unsustainable rate. (Run your figures at a higher rate because mid-long term they are going one way). Remember it is only when the tide goes out you see who has been swimming naked.
– The market values are being held buoyantly by lack of stock instruction. Estate agents are reporting record lows of instructions because people are “waiting to see what happens with Brexit” (I call it something else starting with B and ending with it). More buyers than sellers is falsely appreciating values. If you are a seller don’t wait – its a great time to be a seller in a market where supply is low and demand high. If you are a buyer (residentially) then wait would be my advice, theres a storm coming. If you are an investor, its a great time to trade, and if you are buying for the long term AND based on CASH FLOW, its always a great time to buy. Remember – no get rich quick portfolio building promotion here.
– Estate agents don’t need investors – they have more buyers than sellers rememberer, our 25% below market value offers are less attractive to them in this market. As such they are a bit lazy and bit ruder (they don’t want us). Ride it out, I remember the attitude change in them in 2009, and the phone started to ring again, just keep showing up. To get the best deals (and I am not saying they are non-existent with agents just harder to find) then you have to be more creative in making the deal (finance, options, problem solving etc) and in how you find them (off market, direct to vendor and so on)
– The construction market is a good indication too. It gets harder to get trades on price and on time. Without slagging off the whole industry, the GENERAL nature of it is to do as little as possible and get paid as much as possible, and they aren’t known for their skills in planning for the rain when the sun is shining, and boy is the sun shining for them right now. Theres tonnes of work…..
“what you want a full itemised quote, pfffft I have 3 extensions I can do where they’re not asking for that right now, bye Felicia.”
“You expect me to do a days work on site as a joiner for less than £300 per day, what do you think I am, a doctor or something?”
They are a little bit spoilt – but again, much like the estate agents of the world, when the market changes, and it will soonish, then they will be back with tools belt and tails between their legs (after someone hasn’t paid them for a job because they’ve gone bust because they’ve been overpaying trades for 6 months) – this isn’t my first rodeo Bob.
– Lending is TOO CHEAP. Say what? Now don’t get me wrong I am using some of said cheap lending, BUT in honesty we are partnered with a lender that we have a great relationship with, and whilst they charge more than others we know we will be able to get a very quick decision, a working relationship with decision makers, and most importantly, like us, that they will still be here in 10 years lending to us.
So why is it too cheap? Remember more buyers than property (supply and demand), meaning that lenders have to compete for the lending (its a buyers market in every way). Lenders will ALWAYS compete, because they make most money when they lend. So how do they compete?
1. Increase LTV – meaning any buyer needs to put down less deposit. May sound great but it isn’t for the market, less people with skin in the game makes it easier fo them to walk away when it goes wrong. Northern Rock 125% LTV mortgages anyone?
2. Decrease rates – see above. Base rate is going one way, and people agreeing short term rates may be in for a surprise once they enter their variable or end of term. FIX LONG TERM is what I am doing, even paying more in the short term.
3. Remove some restrictions – basically make it easier to lend for people – which again sounds great in the land obsessed with home ownership, but its always the uninformed that get hurt when the market turns.
– The high street is changing. Anyone that follows me on Insta (dannyinmanproperty #follownow) will know how passionate I am about this one. High streets, in my opinion, are not a thing of the past BUT an opportunity for the future. There is a large caveat with this, the Local Government and the people within the community need to embrace it, but if they do then I am a believer. I expect the high streets to become a more bohemian style of shopping. I think small independent retailers are going to make a comeback. As the likes of Debenhams and many others shut up their substantial doors struggling to compete with online, I believe that creates a huge opportunity to watch makers, butchers, bakers, coffee shops, brew houses, dress makers etc etc. HOWEVER – this needs residential living centrally. People create a buzz, and a buzz creates even more people. Put people in the high street to live, and they will shop and eat there. Other people will follow. We have a field of dreams mentality – “If we build it they will come” – and as we have hundreds of apartments in our pipeline in town centre locations – THEY BETTER BLOODY HAD. But in all seriousness, we believe.
– There is still a huge amount of international investment, the UK is VERY attractive. Why? We have great rental yields (house price vs rental), there is a HUGE demand (massive undersupply and people always want to come here) and the pound is bloody cheap right now. All of our international investors want to get their money into the UK quick – they see the pound as being hugely undervalued (I agree) and WHEN it recovers, by the 20-30% they are expecting, not only would they have made on their property investment activities longer term, but they would have made very handsomely on the exchange rate too. It’s better than the Forex market in my mind, because if they’ve bought right then they would also have income whilst they hold.
Ever wondered why I have been in foreign countries a lot since Brexit……now you know. See you in Dubai in 2 weeks.
Wow I have ranted on in this one, sorry.
Those are my thoughts on the UK market currently.
I could write a blog on each of those points (I might do actually)
My thoughts on UK property are it is ALWAYS the right time to buy IF you have the right knowledge and strategy for that market.
If you are not sure hit me up……..I can spend it for you and get you something nice in return.