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Scaling up: Learning The Lessons

Ed Fowkes of Prosperity Capital Partners talks with Kelly Lemon

Ed Fowkes’s property journey started when he bought a flat before attending university in East London. As the son of a lawyer Ed describes his parents as being risk-averse. However, they encouraged him to get onto the property ladder at a young age and it was his gran that got him started on what’s developed into a rather fascinating journey. “She said ‘I am going to die one day so there is no point in you waiting until then for some money so I’m giving you ten thousand pounds now.’”

That enabled Ed to grow his own portfolio to a level where he was able to retire to the sun for a few years. He then sold that portfolio and started again armed with various strategies. Ed then sold his portfolio again to focus on his role as a founding director of Prosperity Capital Partners where his latest project has a projected GDV of £182m. Needless to say this certainly piqued my interest and I am keen to find out just how he has gone from being a traditional BTL investor with a relatively modest portfolio to a large scale developer that is changing the landscape of the areas they are working within. Time to delve in…

After that helping hand from his gran in 1993, Ed used that ten thousand pounds windfall to buy his first flat in Bethnal Green for just under £40,000. It was a two bedroom flat and from ‘day dot’ he rented the second bedroom to a fellow student and used the rent to cover the mortgage payments. That was Ed’s first taste of leverage.

Over the next five years Ed saw the value of his flat double in value but a local estate agent warned him in 1997 that prices had hit their maximum and it was time to get out of the market; so he did. He sold his flat for just under £80,000 in 1998 and made a
hefty profit. However, with the benefit of hindsight Ed says he would have been tempted to hold onto that flat; “Bethnal Green and the East of London as a whole has seen real growth in prices over the past few decades and a few years ago when I last checked that two bedroom flat was worth about £400,000.”  

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