Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Expert view: In property, location is still king

    I’ve just spent a fantastic holiday in Tel Aviv — and what a place it is. I have to confess that I’ve hardly been there in years and the change is remarkable. As a food addict, it was heaven. The restaurants are amazing. So are the Israelis.

    They are having a bit of a property boom over there, so I had a quick look around to see if there were any opportunities. We’ll see.

    We are hoping that we might get back to a bit of normality in 2010. The market has picked up in patches but who knows where it’ll be at the end of the year? It’s been two years since I’ve bought a property and my hands are twitching, but I’m being sensible. In fact, unusually for us, we’re selling a few properties. With some, it would be foolish not to because we can achieve such strong prices; others, I’m advised, are “no longer strategic to the business” or “don’t contribute positively to cash-flow”, like farmland and a lake in Lancashire.

    We will get back to buying but for the moment I’m making sure the business stays healthy. I attended a meeting with one of our lenders to discuss a new product called a “reverse flipper swap”. I thought Flipper was a dolphin but it turned out to be a derivative. I’m still learning.

    The commercial property market is still two-tiered, with London coming out on top. Foreign investors are buying. The old rules about long leases and good covenants are still important but location seems to be king. Residential property is shifting well in the right places. We’ve sold a complete 30-unit scheme in Islington off-plan in Hong Kong. With that kind of commitment, we can now seek bank finance to build, which would have been difficult otherwise. However, a completed scheme in Camden is selling more slowly.

    I don’t know when the bad times will end but, as I tell the office, when we go home after work we’re a day closer to it.

Community News

Barnet backs £10m housing

Anonymous

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Barnet backs £10m housing
Uk News

We're all going to Stamford Hill-on-Sea

Simon Rocker

Thursday, April 7, 2016

We're all going to Stamford Hill-on-Sea
Community News

Housing is hot hustings topic

Anonymous

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Housing is hot hustings topic
Community News

Property firm blocked from developing listed syn...

Simon Rocker

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Property firm blocked from developing listed syn...
Community News

Gaining housing benefits

Anonymous

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Gaining housing benefits
Community News

Housing is hot hustings topic

Anonymous

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Housing is hot hustings topic
Uk News

Fortune of £13 billion makes Reuben brothers UK...

Rosa Doherty

Monday, April 25, 2016

Fortune of £13 billion makes Reuben brothers UK...
Campus features

Students' capital home-from-home

Naomi Firsht

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Students' capital home-from-home
Uk News

Married and renting - report reveals the state ...

Simon Rocker

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Married and renting - report reveals the state ...