PHILIP’S BLOG 19/10/2015

CUBE CROPPED

ARE INSTITUTIONAL BUYERS GOING TO SKEW THE MARKET?

London, MJ Direct, Birmingham’s City Centre flats There is currently a rapid wake up to the potential of the UK property market, particularly outside of the South East .This is now particularly focussed on Birmingham ,by private equity funds & more institutional buyers looking long term at residential houses and apartments here in the City Centre. Having danced at the edges of the market for the twelve months or more we are now seeing firm commitments being made to developers for their whole proposed projects ,with the aim of some ,namely the PRS Funds, to keep all the finished stock for letting & others to hold some completed flats but to sell the remainder to the open market upon completion. These funds money is being welcomed by local developers who are finding this time around, as against before 2007 ,that mainstream banks are being very cautious about lending on the speculative building of apartments. They in turn are almost encouraging developers to have 100% sales in place before they commit to fund the build. This minute the developers are quietly enjoying the competition from the competing big buyers for their finished properties ,especially those with proposed stock in the most sought after central locations.

As agents we anticipated much more new stock coming into the open market this autumn & into early next spring than what will now undoubtedly occur. The sourcing of funding for clients has been one factor in these delays. Whether the current activity by these institutional buyers will upset the revival of the market here in Birmingham City Centre by taking much of the proposed new stock out of the market at the very point when market confidence is rapidly improving is to be seen. The price rises that will come from competing end user buyers for the now limited stock that will be released to the open market short term will be inevitable in my eyes.

The side story is that these larger players will help ordinary vendors sell their resale houses and apartments because buyers looking for new build apartments will be forced to reappraise the existing stock . Those vendors whose residences have been kept up to date ,particularly in the bathroom & kitchens areas, will, I anticipate, reap the benefit from quicker sales and stronger prices in the coming months.

Finally the UK’s largest search engine Rightmove have just reported that Maguire Jackson has the continuing largest estate agency market share in the City Centre for residential sales & listings and that this success is growing. Over £200k our market share is even larger. Overall this is great news for those looking because of the wide & varied choice of stock we offer to all buyers but also good news to vendors because they know their property is being introduced to the largest audience by the most active agent.