It’s always nice to know that I’m not the only one taking a different stance on the market, which reinforces that I may just know what I’m talking about. I attended a recent mastermind group where some experienced developers said that they were now not buying anything unless they can take out ‘purchase options’. The London market decline is filtering outwards and the conversations I had cemented our decision to stop all communications with agents, and property sourcers who aren’t direct with vendors. The purchase option route and on occasions, subject to planning (STP) is our main focus coupled with ramping up our trading arm. Taking out purchase options, in my experience, can only be achieved successfully via direct communication with a vendor as it relies on the rapport and the correct manner in how it’s presented.
I have also noted some London agents claiming the market has hit rock bottom and will start to turn, well they would say that and secondly, I saw no stats to back these up claims. I have no crystal ball but only my instinct, which tells me this: that it’s the start of an ‘opportunity cycle’. If we can lock in options to buy with renewal clauses then we’ll realise the upturn in around 2-3 years. It’s now a long-term strategy for us, which is why we are selling all our development stock so that we can be better placed to capitalise on the right deals as they appear.