Matthew has kindly taken some time out to give an interview to the Brickowner Blog about the changing world of property investment.
How did you get into property investment and development?
As a hobby! I wanted to move my family to Chelsea and the only way I could afford a Chelsea house was to buy a wreck and renovate it. Having done that once I then upgraded to a larger house in Chelsea and did it again. I made a lot of money on both of those houses, so I thought it would be interesting to pursue this as a career!
What do you look for in a project before starting work on it?
Only one thing: profit. We avoid Central London as prices are falling there; other than that, we don’t care which area of London it’s in, we don’t mind too much about the size or the scope of the works. We just need to see strong returns!
What are the big issues within the property industry at the moment ? Are they affecting the way you do business ?
The uncertainty around Brexit is leading many first-time buyers to take a “wait and see” approach, so the sales market is very slow. This, of course, can delay the time it takes for our companies to realise profits. We feel that once Parliament has voted a deal through, the market will normalise (in fact there could be a mini-boom as pent-up demand comes back).
Do you feel that technology is changing property investment ?
Historically all our shareholders were friends and family of directors. Partnering with Brickowner allows us to go beyond that. It quickly provides us with a regulatory framework that enables us to get to a wider audience of potential investors. In the past, a lot of people would have liked to have invested in property development but did not have the time or resources to do so themselves . So the platforms are probably welcome to those people, and something that I can see growing over the coming years.
If you could be involved in any property project in the world, what would it be and why?
A hypothetical one in which we purchase a piece of disused land for £100k and then get planning permission to build a 9-storey apartment block. But I’m not expecting that to happen.
Disclaimer: This blog post sets out personal opinions which are not capable of being applied universally; following them will not guarantee success. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional investment advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified independent investment advisor with any questions you may have regarding any of the above. Not all the above will apply to your investment circumstances.