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

Editor's Introduction - August 22

Editor Richard Bowser comments

Each month in this magazine we bring you an eclectic mix of articles, all of which are designed to inform and to hopefully educate you about the ‘real world’ of property investment. Our contributors and journalists are all highly experienced individuals who have ‘walked the walk’ in property for many years. Some articles will likely appeal more to some people than to others depending on where you are as a reader in respect of your property portfolio/trading growth.

As we are now well into the summer school holiday season in the UK, many will likely have a bit more time to reflect on their property wins and losses this year and to consider whether any changes of direction are needed to adapt to current market conditions.

We do now seem at last, to be fully emerging from the Covid period which dominated the news agenda for almost two years, and yet it’s clear that some things which we previously took for granted - such as the daily commute for many office workers - are no longer the norm. Back in the early 1970’s the miners strike imposed a three-day working week on the UK population due to enforced power cuts, but now for many, it appears that three days in a week at the office is at least one day too many.

The implications ahead for commercial property developers and service-related businesses in city centre locations from these shifts in working practices should not be underestimated. And for residential investors and developers who have previously focussed on city centres, the jury is still out on just how much demand to occupy city-centre apartments in particular there will be in the next few years, compared to the period up to 2019 and this applies to both the sales and rental markets. There has been in the last two years an ongoing exodus from inner London and some other major UK cities to buy and rent property in the outer suburbs and to more distant commuter locations since mid-2020.

Another factor to note is just how much of an increase we will see in the next few years from international buyers for city-based investments, which will influence the ambitions of property developers. And yet the relative weakness of sterling against the US dollar is unquestionably a key factor which should encourage more international buyers towards UK property investments.

Governments all around the world attempted to prevent a catastrophic economic downturn occurring as the pandemic quickly took hold in 2020 through massive injections of digital money printing and unprecedented financial support for businesses and households. This then resulted in a huge excess of savings, and here in the UK it’s estimated that the combined household savings balance rose by some £180bn, much of which is still unspent.

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