This Week in Property: The Latest News (9th July 2021)

Take a look at what our CEO Gill Fielding has to say about this week’s property news…

John Lewis Rentals

Retail businesses are in the main invested in property as well as the business. Some of the most expensive real estate is in the high streets of towns and cities across the world. So the latest news from John Lewis about moving into the property rental arena is only a small step sideways from their normal property strategy where they are buying prime sites for their shops. John Lewis are intending to build and rent out approximately 10,000 homes and this is a sensible move for them as it gives them an alternative use for land and property they already have where the shop itself has to close and 7,000 of the 10,000 properties are using land already owned by the business.

It’s a clever move on several levels as some of the properties will contain furniture and fittings supplied by the shop itself and larger developments will have concierge services and a Waitrose shop on the site. Not only have John Lewis found a new property strategy but have also found additional customers for their existing retail businesses. Clever – and it’s a lesson for all entrepreneurs and wealth creators on how to make the most of the assets we have and how to combine different lanes of the wealth motorway. John Lewis here have combined business and property in one project which is a typical move for the wealthy but its unusual to see such a large organisation getting involved in small residential property but when needs must all businesses have to flex and adapt to the market they’re in – lessons for us all there.


Money Talks

I don’t normally comment about TV programmes but there was a fascinating programme with Kathy Burke this week called Money Talks in which she explores some of the negative beliefs we have about money in our society: money is dirty, embarrassing and socially divisive. Rich people look down on people who don’t have and poor people look down on rich people who have their inherited money rather than worked for it. Wherever she went she found some negative aspects of money and how we treat it and view it and it’s great to get these views out in the open and broadly all the people she spoke to were ‘nice’ people and normal in many ways and so money wasn’t really the thing that made them different. I deeply wish that as a society we could have a neutral view about money – it’s neither good nor bad and it’s only the behaviour of people that makes money divisive.

There’s another part of the programme next week which I will watch with interest but the best thing to come out this week was Kathy’s own definition of wealth which is: it’s having spare money left over after you’ve paid your bills and I agree entirely! Financial freedom isn’t about a huge number of pounds in the bank – it’s the ability to pay ALL your bills and feed your family without worry and with choice.  And I wish more programmes of this nature were made but one of the other beliefs we have as a society is that money isn’t a topic for popular culture and we shouldn’t talk about it and that’s a shame. We should talk about it and get it out into the open and deal with it and then we can stop being so obsessed with it and bad at handling it.


Marketing needs money!

In my post today I had a collection of mail shot type marketing leaflets and when I picked them up a fake cheque fell onto the floor and my heart immediately skipped a beat. I love cheques! And to see one was an immediately positive experience but I wonder if our millennial children would think the same? I was brought up on cheques and love the look and feel of them but for today’s generations they probably have never held a cheque or written one. Interestingly the fake cheque in my post was for a wine promotion and aimed I assume at older people who would appreciate the possibility if free money in cheque form but I doubt that specific type of marketing would hold any sway with younger people as the use of cheques – and ultimately – real hard cash becomes a thing of the past. It won’t be long before someone sees a fake cheque and thinks what the heck is that!


Germany predicts the football!

Apparently (and weirdly) Deutsche Bank have been closely following the England football team – not to glean useful tips for their own football team but to monitor the England football team’s performance on the economy! The German Bank predict that the UK economy will be boosted by £50 million because England have got to the final of the European cup and they say that prediction could be conservative and in reality may be much higher. That’s because of all the spending we do when a goal goes in: drink, food, meeting up; travelling to fan zones, snacks, clothes, and face paint. Plus all the other direct and indirect spending as a result of our football team reaching the final.

I’ll certainly be travelling on Sunday before the final and spending more on petrol for instance. I wonder if when Harry Kane ran up to take that semi-final penalty, he was thinking about all the small to medium businesses being impacted by what he was about to do – I hope not as it would have added much more pressure to his shot – so actually judging by the outcome and him having to score the rebound, maybe he was!

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