The Post-Pandemic Property Market

Thoughts from the CEO

I’ve been a property investor for just about 45 years now (yes I’m old!) and I’ve never seen the market in such an odd place and clearly there are significant changes happening to property prices, how we live, how we transact and who owns property in the UK.” – Gill Fielding

The Rhythm of Life

It is certainly true that the pandemic has hada major impact on property and how andwhere we live. People want to move out of cities if they can work from home: homeworkers want more space and gardens: and high streets are emptying.

There is a major shift in how people think now. Some call it the ‘great resign’ and that may be a forced resignation or a voluntary one or just a change in working arrangements, but people don’t think about their jobs in the same way now after the pandemic and after furlough. Whatever has happened to people, the rhythm of life and especially the rhythm of the working life has changed.
People want to eradicate uncertainty and take control because nobody has appreciated being uncertain and unclearas to what they can and can’t do. Rather than working for someone else for a living,many people are now looking to take responsibility for their livelihoods and create their income from investments such as property. This approach has the potential to make people feel secure and in control and now is a great opportunity to get involved in the property investing world.

In fact, many individuals are looking to do this now and many businesses are too! The retailer John Lewis has already committed to providing 10,000 rental units and Lloyds Bank have just announced that they want to purchase and rent out 50,000 propertiesin the next few years

Property is the Perfect Investment

Now that may seem like an odd strategy for a bank but it’s the perfect strategy! Lloyds are a bank and consequently very risk averse and property has proved itself to be the perfect investment because it was resilient before the pandemic, resilient throughout the pandemic and will continue to be resilient after! Property is a ‘safe’ bet both for private investors andfor banks. Property is a solid asset that you can kick and look at; it holds and increases its value over the long term and the demand for rental properties is at an all time high. This is an important point because IF – for some strange reason – property prices do take a dip, that’s still Ok as the tenant is in situ paying the rent (and any mortgage associated with theproperty) while the property market gets back on track.

There is no other business that works like that.

Property Rules and Regulations

However, one of the perils of being inlockdown for such a while is that people have been watching stuff on YouTube and in many cases they now think they’re a property expert! There may be some skills you can learn – once – online – like I assume baking bread or playing the piano– but there are other skills where you need knowledge that is updated regularly. Property is one of those subjects.

The rental market is under intense scrutiny by the government because of the housing shortage and consequently we are seeing increasing rules and regulations being introduced and planned for the future.These include tenant related rules and also property related rules and safety provisionand even energy performance in the future.

Not all these rules are negative however,and the recent changes in Permitted Development Rights means that small landlords and developers can convert shops and other ‘commercial’ buildings into residential units without full planning permission.

BUT – you still need to know how that works and what you’re doing. It’s a great opportunity but not if you get it wrong.

Unfortunately, lockdown has created loads of property ‘experts’ who know very little and haven’t been investing for the 45 yearsI have! You need to be wary of any person who is new to this themselves and who doesn’t have a full support and education team ready to keep you up to date and inthe know. Knowledge and support reduces risk and that’s something Lloyds bank are very keen on.

Knowledge and Support Reduces Risk

If you get connected to a good organisation that provides education, support and regular updates, property investors can generate significant income for themselves and their families. There are lots of opportunities at the moment and we know that there is a drastic shortage of rental properties with 10 – 20 or more people chasing every rental property. With this level of demand, it’s a readymade market for an investor with rental properties. If, however you want to look at capital development then the recently implemented Permitted Development Rights (PDR) changes mean that anyone can convert a local empty shop or gym into a residential dwelling without full planning permission. That’s the governments way of helping investors to fulfil the massive housing demand that we have in this country.

Opportunity in the Property Market

Overall, I’ve never seen a property market like this one in all my days, but I’ve also never seen such a massive opportunity either. Property investing is an amazing business and there is a mass of opportunity both for regular income generation as well as generating larger capital lump sums. But those opportunities are only profitable for people who have knowledge and some experience or are supported by people who have that experience. It’s no longer enough to know just one friend who may have an investment, you will need a fully functioning ‘power’ team who can advise on all matters property related.

But get that and your world is your own to create as you wish free of furlough and frustration with your boss. Personal freedom and choice are key words in this bizarre post pandemic world and overall, I believe this current hiatus will make for people taking more responsibility for themselves and their finances both for them and for their families now and in the future and that can only be a good thing.

Want to Learn More?

Investing in property can be a fantastic vehicle to generate a recurring monthly income that will help you replace the salary from your day job and achieve your goals. But it can be tricky to know where to start and overwhelming navigating the minefield of rules and regulations if you don’t yet have the knowledge and confidence.

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