By Jess Macaulay
London’s November meeting was a bumper event as we were lucky enough to have three keynote speakers. This month’s meeting was all about business growth and how to attempt to stay ahead in the market and prepare your business for strategic growth. If you couldn’t make it, the presentations will be on The Vault ready for you to catch up.
After getting introductions from everyone in the room Thomas Howells from Signature Finance kicked off the meeting to discuss legal and lending scenarios and how this could impact your property investments. He stressed the importance of informing your solicitor as to your ultimate plans for an investment because a bridging provider will take a very different view to a term lender. He also outlined some scenarios around anti money laundering to highlight the importance of checking the source of funds. This was an interesting talk so please do catch up on the Vault as there was some fascinating new case law highlighted.
Next up was John Cox from Insurance-Desk. Providing the latest details around property insurance he talked through the issues in the sector around underinsurance, complex cases, and the requirements to regularly get the portfolio revalued to ensure its insured at the correct level. Cybercrime is an area that they are seeing increased risk around at present so another one to watch out for.
Peter Vandervennin from the Mortgage Consultancy talked us through what had been happening in the lending market since we last met. The base rate had stayed the same and we have also observed swap rates coming down. He mentioned the importance of getting finance deals over the line as whilst rates may/ may not go down the market is fluctuating a lot at present, so certainty of funding is essential in planning new investments.
After a short coffee break Blandine Pais, one of our London members kindly shared insights on the growth of her short-term accommodation business. Initially begun in Covid times to support a relocation programme for nurses coming from overseas it has since grown into a very successful, much larger, and diverse business. It was incredible to see how the business had grown both in terms of the number of units, the types of businesses they were working with and their plans whilst also bringing family on board to support its growth. Absolutely fantastic work and you can find out the whole story on the Vault.
Rod Turner closed November’s meeting by providing as always, a detailed and rigorous market insight. Whilst he noted rents had in places come down a bit or levelled, when compared to pre pandemic levels rental growth has been huge. Because of wage increases rents have not yet become unaffordable as for example in 2015. London and some southern regions were however creeping closer to those levels. He noted that mortgage approvals are 40% lower than 12 months ago so transactions for mortgage buyers have decreased but cash buyers have increased due to the cost of debt. We are also seeing the number of houses available at a 5 year high. Rod mentioned that he anticipated because the country is not building enough houses there will also be upcoming opportunities emerging for small scale developers from the government. One not to miss on the vault as there are many golden nuggets within it.
All the presentations will be available for members that could not attend on the PIP Vault.
Next month we are hosting our PIP London Christmas lunch on Thursday 14th of December (more details to follow for members). We will therefore not be meeting at the Dickens Inn, but in Chiswick for networking and a festive lunch. Our normal schedule and meetings will return in the New Year at the Dickens Inn on the 11th of January for more knowledge, networking and property insights.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all next month, Jess, and Sue.