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The monthly magazine providing news analysis and professional research for the discerning private investor/landlord

Broken Record

Veteran international investor John Corey comments

I am almost embarrassed to write about demographics. It feels like teaching a grandmother to suck eggs. Yes, I looked up the expression to make sure I was using it as a Brit would expect.

American jokes aside, there is almost nothing that matters as much to the long term prospects for housing as demographics. In second place would be interest rates. Third is available capital from lenders. The last two really do not matter much if there is no demand. Demographics can tell you years or even decades in advance, what is likely to happen to demand.

Before diving in a bit, let me say this. A great deal is still a great deal once you have the context right. If you understand the area, know the true demographics and have your time horizon sorted, you can find great deals even in areas with bad demographics. When demographics are on your side, you can make a lot of mistakes and still do well. When you are in an area of declining demand, you will have to work hard just to stay even. It is better to focus on positive demographic trends and then become a master at the deal specific strategies. Avoid the shiny pennies and use demographics to find shiny pounds.

Alternative Facts
Given that alternative facts are popular, let me roll out some. I want you to listen to the broad mes-sage without dwelling too much on the precise details. In the UK, the population is growing. This has little to do with Brexit. Immigrants matter yet the real bump in the numbers do not come from the EU migration. So, nothing that Brexit is likely to unleash will impact the population in the short term. Uncertainty might stop transactions like buying a home. It does not stop births, deaths and other demographic changes.

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