Well, Donald would say that, after all he is the greatest Property Guru our generation has seen, but love him or hate him, he is without doubt a classic character able to bounce back from serious downturns in his own investments and continue to set the trend and reaffirm that owning property is in fact a means of security, a declaration of aspiration and most importantly it’s a home for yourself, your family and your wealth.
I can already hear the grunts, and tones of disapproval by those of you who for one reason or another disagree with my thoughts, hence why I am writing this and not shouting it out on a Saturday morning at the Piazza….getting eggs and tomatoes thrown at me, is not my idea of fun, although as an estate agent I’ve had far worse, I assure you.
My point though; in the long term and on the basis of a sensible economy, stable political prospects and a responsible investor at the helm, it would be fair to say that downsides in property investments are manageable and that medium to long term outlooks will, in the main, be positive. Teddy Roosevelt best described this in the following manner:
“Every person who invests in well-selected real estate in a growing section of a prosperous community adopts the surest and safest method of becoming independent, for real estate is the basis of wealth.”
The past five years have been spectacular to say the least, and for all the wrong reasons that is – I’m referring to the worldwide shenanigans that have almost crippled beastly economies and plagued property prices. The most obvious being Spain, still nowhere near the end and as an economist I met recently stated, “still racing to the bottom”.
So why the continuous optimism from yours truly in all of my articles to date???? Well…….four words…..THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR!!!! It might be luck, right place at the right time, it might even be the fact that we are a small economy and better able to manage our affairs – there isn’t one single reason, but rather a mix of key fundamentals that have for some reason come together and essentially held up our economy and with it our property market, to the extent that we continue to find ourselves in a strong position.
This year we have once again began with a strong start involving large commercial relocations, a few substantial sales (always a bonus..;), but importantly it is the strength in the middle market within the £350,000 - £650,000 range that continues to show growth. Better still it is all locally driven business, which suggests that our own internal fundamentals are good and we are not dependent on new business. Yes it is also true to say that “new business” is key to future long term growth and we look forward to seeing more of this, but to date our position is really quite spectacular and we are greatly encouraged by our performance in the first few months of 2013.
Recently and by way of example, we have sold a 4 bed at Kings Wharf for near £700,000 – funny that only 24 months ago, had we had a vendor looking to sell for that price, we would have politely laughed him / her out the office. The point I make is that prices have indeed hardened in the past few years, we no longer have an oversupply issue and there is little chance of seeing any new high volume developments on stream in the near future…….I’ll leave you to mull over what the result of these factors might be.
Lettings is yet another aspect of the market indicating optimism, albeit under circumstances where there is little to offer but yet another reason why one might surmise that that prices may continue to increase. In short, our portfolio has decreased from an average of 25 to 35 properties available only 12 months ago, to only an average of 10 units today.
To other matters surrounding the BMI Group. We are delighted to announce that Maria Gloria Galliano (our Accountant) has been made a Director with effect from March 13. Maddy has been with BMI since 1997 and over the period has become an invaluable member of the team. Congratulations to a super lady whom I prefer to call the in house terrier… No messing with Mrs G.
We are also pleased to announce that our staff will grow by an additional member in the coming weeks, yet another sign of our own confidence in the market. This is mainly due to an increase in our lettings department work where we are now reaching near 100 properties under management and an increase in sales viewings across the board – this will increase our staff capacity to 8. Details of our new addition will feature in our next issue.
Finally, we hope that you will enjoy the new look and feel to our Magazine, we are now in our 9th year of print and felt that a change was long overdue – we trust you will approve. Also, look out for our new Website which will be launched early April 13 with additional features including some interesting facts and stats on the market!!!
We wish all our clients, partners and future applicants a fabulous year ahead and as always, trust that you will consider BMI as your first choice in property.
Louis C. Montegriffo