The lockdown continues, but it is interesting to note that according to new data from property technology specialist Coadjute, advanced bookings for property viewings are up 182% in 4 weeks, which some take as an indication that the UK housing market is ready to re-start.
Once the lockdown is over and the restrictions are eased, we can expect a return to the normal flow of property viewings, which has clearly been the stumbling block for the residential market and the reason everything shuddered to a halt in late March.
Not all viewings have ceased however, with vacant and dilapidated properties still able to be viewed as we found out when we met, virtually of course, a specialist property investment business last week.
The business is concentrating its efforts in a relatively small geographic area of the UK, which allows it to truly understand the local market and how prices fluctuate as it reacts to national events, like the current pandemic.
By identifying properties with the potential to deliver good returns on the investments provided by their clients, the business, having already completed 60 or so purchase, refurbishment and re-mortgage or sale deals, is looking to expand its activities as we emerge from lockdown.
Employing different teams at different times to undertake the work required to refurbish properties to a high standard and having them follow each other from property to property, speeds up the process – a bit of a property development conveyor belt.
It appears every project is planned down to the smallest detail, allowing plenty of wriggle room for contingencies should they hit a problem, which looking at their track-record is very unlikely.
The projects are typically completed in 8 months, giving around 4 to complete the next stage of financing or sell the property on. Whilst our minimum loan period is 12 months in the current crisis, there is no early repayment penalty, which is good news for our lending team.
Their model is eminently scalable and there appears no shortage of ideal properties in their region, so it really comes down to them securing a robust short-term funding resource on which they can rely to help them get deals done. And that’s where Signature Property Finance come in.
We have worked with these developers in the past, but now they are seeking greater support, it is interesting to note cost is not the immediate issue as might be expected.
Signature is in the frame to provide funding, not just because we can easily cope with the volume, but because our service is second to none and we live by our unofficial company motto of, we do what we say we will – which is what this prospect told us in our Teams meeting.
Simply put, when we offer terms, we follow through on the offer. We don’t throw nasty surprises into the deal later on or create unnecessary delays in the hope of securing some penalty payments when the project cannot be completed in time, when funding is supplied in tranches.
In reality we are a perfect match. A client with a growing portfolio and need for funding, complemented by our ambition to lend, with the funds to match.
So for now, we’ll keep discussing how best we can shape our service to suit their business model, but it’s interesting to note already, how the property development market is changing and despite the challenges, businesses like this one are looking to grow out of crisis.