Expert view: Bring back busyness

By David Coffer, September 12, 2008
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Most chickened out in July and ran away to the solace of a sunny swimming pool. The market had long since departed, probably for an even longer break. Hopes of returning to a warmer economic reception disappeared quicker than a tan. We have all loved the inflation-led, bullish "everything is going to be worth more tomorrow, so let's buy it" world that we lived in for the best part of two decades, and we're missing its charms like some holiday romance never to be revisited.

Our recollection of summer 2007 was of being so busy that we were jumping into pools with BlackBerrys for fear of losing a deal. This year, for the wrong reasons, the last thing anyone wanted to hear was the ringing of the phone. Sadly, we have returned to a commercial world where lawyers tell us they are beefing up their employment teams, bankers (those still lending) are making their covenants tougher, while accountants say that losses are the new profit. Liquidation is inevitable for many. Thankfully, some movement is appearing with reductions in values of deals and levels of premiums for leases, as well as the early signs of changes in the mentality of landlords to covenant guarantee, rental deposits and concessions. Who knows, by next summer, the market may have turned, possibly for us all to be too busy to even go on holiday. Let's hope so.

David Coffer, known by his peers as Mr Leisure, is the chairman of property company the Coffer Group

    Last updated: 4:04pm, September 16 2008