Hello Mumbai International Desk:
AFRICA REAL ESTATE SUMMIT 2022
The maiden edition of the annual pan Africa Real Estate Summit 2022 will hold 7th and 8th of October 2022 at Lagos Oriental Hotel and Muson Center Onikan Lagos respectively.
The Day 1 Certificate Masterclass for Real Estate Practitioners holds Friday 7 October 2022 at Oriental Hotel, Lagos. The Sessions Include, Technology and IT Solutions for Real Estate, Customer Care Service for Real Estate, Digital Marketing for Real Estate, and Organizational Leadership for Real Estate Executives
The certificate masterclass is designed for Real Estate Agents who want to be top producers and increase sales and newbies who want to begin a Career in Real Estate.
The Day 2 General Sessions holds at Agip Recital Hall, Muson Center Onikan Lagos. Highlights of the day include Keynote presentations, panel discussions, brand exhibitions, award presentations, networking, and Real Estate Modelling.
The keynote presentations and panel discussions include Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Africa, Real Estate Technology and Innovation, and Real Estate and Facility Management.
The Award categories include International Real Estate Agency of the Year, Affordable Housing Estate of the Year, Real Estate Personality of the Year, Real Estate Tech Innovation of the Year, and the Africa Real Estate Excellence Awards. The winners of this category are selected by the advisory board/awards planning committee). Also, World’s Greatest Records in partnership with the Africa Real Estate Summit will recognize and appreciate outstanding individuals and organizations at the event. Interested recipients are to sign up at http://www.worldgreatestrecord.com/Registration.aspx and fill out the required form to apply for the record.
To attend the event, kindly sign up on https://africarealestatesummitawards.eventbrite.com
For participation, partnership, sponsorship, and awards consideration, kindly send an email to [email protected]
Sometimes, a little perspective is all you need to appreciate what you have. The U.S. real estate market may not be “perfect,” but its differences, when juxtaposed with other markets worldwide, can become more pronounced and favorable depending on whom you ask.
This is even truer when trying to make sense of the nuances of global real estate. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) CEO Paul Boomsma took on the hefty task as he unpacked market trends from around the world that are influencing the real estate sector in several countries.
In his talk titled “The Global State of Real Estate,” Boomsma indulged hundreds of attendees with his insights at RISMedia’s 34th Annual CEO & Leadership Exchange held at the iconic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., in early September.
“Real estate is still indeed a very local business, and while the world continues to be more connected with near instantaneous web updates and social media posts, just because we know what is happening overseas, the real question is do we know what it means—and more importantly, the context,” he said.
Boomsma opened the session with an anecdote that laid the foundation for the conversation.
As he regaled attendees with a colorful account of a discussion between an American real estate player looking to expand into the United Kingdom and his London-based colleague, Boomsma also gave the audience a crash course in the nuances of the European real estate systems.
“In much of the world, the real estate business and business licenses are controlled by a firm,” Boomsma said. “Many UK families reference their real estate relationship to a firm they go in rather than an individual real estate agent.”
Depending on the country, different rules and regulations are applied to how real estate can be transacted. In nearly all parts of Europe, for example, the employment status of estate agents with agents assigned business is from principal brokers. This typically results in a smaller salesforce and office space.
Also deviating from the U.S. is the real estate license itself, which Boomsma characterized as “more of a general business license” held by the firm’s principal.
An overarching acceptance of rentals, which account for a significant portion of the housing markets across many European markets, is a substantial difference from U.S. real estate.
“In Europe, there is no stigma into renting,” Boomsma said. “It’s highly accepted, and the American Dream of homeownership is just that. It’s our dream, not the Europeans.”
Europeans tend to view mortgages and debt differently from the U.S., which is influenced by the lack of mortgage-related tax incentives in Europe. Still, some countries have a strong presence of ownership in the housing market—the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Scandinavian countries.
Regionally, many northern European markets have been overheated and expensive, sending investors south for better deals. Southern Europe’s homeownership remains high primarily due to the common trend of multigenerational housing.
“All of this comes down to a simple fact: many people outside the U.S. simply don’t move as often as Americans,” Boomsma said.
Adding to the complexities of global real estate is the lack of exclusive listings, allowing sellers to make their listings available through several local real estate firms, which can skew market share reports.
Equally troubling is the fact that a lack of exclusive listing agreements opens the door for local brokerages to try to circumvent the listing agent to go directly to the seller, according to Boomsma.
In countries without strict licensing markets, many practices are challenging to enforce, leaving many firms taking different measures to claim a listing representation.
“All of these factors result in up to 25% of transactions being handled privately in some countries as the real estate professional does not always exhibit trust and respect to warrant higher adaptation as it does here,” Boomsma said.
Though coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seemingly dissipated in the U.S., Europe is still shouldering the tremendous uncertainty that the conflict has bred.
European countries have seen surging gas and electricity prices, while overall inflation soared to 9.8% from 2.5% a year ago—some countries have seen double-digit inflation.
As the war in Ukraine wages on, Boomsma indicated that Europeans expect the situation and its effects to persist “for a long time as other eastern European conflicts have in the past.”
“They are dealing with a war and an infusion of 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees, uncertainty in their financial future and a 250% increase in home energy costs as cold weather looms in the fourth quarter,” he said. “It’s no wonder that the real estate market has softened to reflect those concerns.”
A growing trend among European and other countries is using golden visa programs to attract foreign investment in real estate. According to Boomsma, programs have been seen to various degrees in Portugal, Greece, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Ireland, Turkey and some Caribbean islands—offering a form of residency that can lead to full citizenship.
Asian real estate markets are seeing their share of changes as branded apartment residencies are growing in popularity throughout the continent. Boomsma noted that this is partially due to higher service standards of American brands. In particular, Boomsma highlighted the growing footprints of Marriott and Four Seasons, which have 125 branded residential projects outside of the U.S.
“This works well in the high-density Asian cities where apartments aren’t large and the land prices are incredibly high, so the services and amenities become strong differentiators for developers,” he said.
A noteworthy shift that is mounting throughout the continent is the growing number of young, educated consumers leaving home, deviating from the multigenerational housing custom that has been a fixture in Asian culture, Boomsma said.
“Today’s youth is much more prone to leave the family home,” he said, adding that the trend is also gaining traction in Europe, India and Pakistan.
Closer to home, South America’s political unrest has strained several markets. Except for Uruguay and Paraguay, Boomsma stated that most South American countries—sans Brazil—have adopted “wait and see” attitudes as they deal with new administrations.
Inflation has also caused some housing markets to struggle, with Venezuela—admittedly the weakest market on the continent—breaking out of a hyperinflationary year in 2021.
“To say that practicing real estate in South America has challenges is an understatement,” Boomsma said.
Central American countries like Nicaragua and Honduras also saw administration changes that have hampered foreign buyers amid land rights uncertainty. According to Boomsma, Costa Rica and Belize, which have more stable economies and governments, have grown as a popular destination among Canadian and U.S. buyers.
He also acknowledged that Mexico continues to see investment in locations like Puerto Vallarta, Cabo and the entire Riviera Maya, which saw prices increase during COVID due to U.S. and Canadian investors.
Caribbean Islands have also maintained their appeal, with the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico offering some of the best and most affordable second home options.
While countries worldwide are dealing with different factors influencing their real estate markets and overall economies, the U.S. has been no exception as economic uncertainty and elevated inflation have mixed with ongoing challenges in inventory and affordability that are straining buyers.
However, Boomsma struck an optimistic tone at the end of his talk as he looked at the global picture that the U.S. market is part of.
“Hopefully, our market normalizing after two years of near frenetic pace doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming when we understand the challenges that others around the globe are operating with their businesses,” Boomsma said.
Stay tuned to RISMedia for additional coverage of this year’s CEO & Leadership Exchange.
A rare opportunity to live among royalty has arisen in Norfolk, as Station House comes to market right in the heart of Sandringham Estate.
Station House in Wolferton is on the market for £1,195,000 and is Grade II listed.
It’s where Wolferton Railway Station once sat, used by several generations of the royal family when visiting Sandringham House.
The detached home is features large and versatile reception spaces, a kitchen centred around an Aga and three bedrooms and beautiful gardens.
Will Lightfoot, Sowerbys Sales Director, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“Estate agents tend to use the term ‘rarely available’ often, but in this case, it cannot be more emphasised.
“Station House is perfectly adjacent to the former Wolferton Railway Station, well known as the station used by the royal family en-route to Sandringham up until the late 1960s.
“The railway line is no longer in use and the old station has been converted into impressive homes with historic importance.
“It makes the setting all the more special, a magnificent example of a beautiful home capturing the nostalgia of a bygone era.
“Sowerbys are absolutely delighted to bring Station House to market and look forward to seeing what the next chapter holds for this incredible property.”
Station House is on the market for £1,195,000.
For more information, visit www.sowerbys.com or call Sowerbys on 01485 533666.
Buying, selling or renting a property can be a big, and really exciting change, however, it can also be time-consuming with lots of things to think about due to confusing paperwork and legalities, which can add unnecessary stress to your relaxed Spanish lifestyle! It’s always a good idea to find the best, most well-trusted estate agent in the area, so, with that in mind, the Euro Weekly News has put together a handy guide to take you through the best estate agents in Sotogrande to help you on your journey, whether you’re looking to secure a sale or find your perfect property.
When looking to buy, sell or rent a property, it’s always advisable to work with a trusted estate agent in a language that you can understand. You will need someone who can help you to arrange viewings, fill out all of the relevant paperwork, liaise with prospective buyers or sellers, and work with your budget in mind. That’s why we have put together a list of the best estate agents in Sotogrande to sell your home or find you your dream property in Spain.
Types of property in Sotogrande
Nearby the bright lights of Marbella and the gorgeous coast and mountains of Estepona, but with its own tranquil atmosphere, Sotogrande is a small but increasingly popular place to live, especially for British expats, home to plenty of prestigious residential developments along the Costa del Sol. Whether you’re looking to up and move completely, or quite fancy a second home in a beautiful private coastal community, surrounded by immaculately maintained scenery, Sotogrande could be your new home.
Ideal for families who are looking to raise their children somewhere safe, or couples who are looking to somewhere to relax and retire to, Sotogrande is home to an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, but if it’s the nightlife of Ibiza you’re looking for, you won’t find it here. However, what you will find is one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Spain, with round-the-clock security, a large expat population with diverse people from all over the world and a real sense of community.
To find your perfect property in what presents itself as such a luxurious and friendly dream location, working with an estate agent in Sotogrande is the best way to make sure everything runs smoothly and you can start relaxing near Sotogrande’s marina, maybe with a glass of champagne to celebrate your new home!
The most popular areas in Sotogrande
Well-positioned along Spain’s Mediterranean coast, although Sotogrande is less than seven acres in size, it’s not far from the chic town of Tarifa, the kite surfing capital of Europe, and slightly further up towards the Atlantic, you’ll find Vejer and Conil – two quaint and quintessentially Spanish towns. Head East towards the incredible hilltop town of Casares for some breathtaking views or, if Sotogrande’s own superb yachting marina isn’t enough to keep you satisfied, explore Estepona’s fantastic port. Whilst Sotogrande is also home to many amenities as well as excellent bars and restaurants, its neighbouring town of Torreguadario is also home to many bars serving delicious tapas and a wonderful beach.
Sotogrande itself is composed of Sotogrande Costa and Sotogrande Alto and Sotogrande Marina. Take a look at each of them here before deciding on the best estate agent to help you find your dream property!
Near the coast is Sotogrande Costa. Take a stroll down one of the lower streets or round the Real Club de Golf in this part of Sotogrande. Also in this area, you’ll find Zone A and B, comprised of streets all starting with either A or B names. The roads here are tranquil and tree-lined and play host to wonderful villas of varying prices.
Across the A7 freeway which separates Sotogrande Costa from Sotogrande Alt0, you’ll find Zone C and D, and further up, E, F and G, the latter of which is home to the Alemenara Hotel, a charming place for your guests to stay or for those thinking of taking a holiday to Sotogrande.
Sotogrande Alto is geographically bigger than other coastal areas, and if you’re struggling to decide whether you want a villa with a woodland view, copious countryside to gaze out onto, or stunning seascapes on your doorstep, there’s a large selection here for you to choose from. This area is also great for families as the international school is close by and there are nearby horse-riding stables should your children want to take this up as a hobby.
Across the river from Kings and Queens, you’ll find Sotogrande Marina, which boasts interesting and unique shops a-plenty and where you can certainly get your fill of incredible restaurants. Enjoy dinner with a view in one of the restaurants with a beer garden and a waterfront view, making the most of the splendid sun in your new Spanish lifestyle.
The best estate agents for your move to Sotogrande
Buying, selling or renting a property is a huge task involving lots of paperwork and documents and with many factors to consider such as your lifestyle and needs, the area and amenities and, of course, your budget. That’s why we have made a list of the best estate agents in Sotogrande to help you on your exciting journey.
1. Sotograndeonline by Consuelo Silva and Gian Carlo Borda Silva
Sotograndeonline is a family-run real estate agency in Sotogrande that was established in 1999 and led by residents of the area Consuelo Silva and Gian Carlo Borda. Following 30 years of residency in Sotogrande, Consuelo and Gian Carlo offer a personalised and trusted consultancy service, underpinned by their extensive knowledge and experience of the housing market, helping clients to find their new dream home or holiday property.
Finding out the needs and requirements of each client, the team at Sotograndeonline will provide you with an honest, reliable and knowledgeable service that is matched to your specific needs and lifestyle. With so much to offer, the area of Sotogrande is much more than beaches, golf courses, the marina and polo – something that Sotogrande Online knows intimately.
Your requirements and needs are the number one priority for Sotograndeonline, presenting you with the best real estate options in this beautiful, haven on the Costa del Sol – whether that be a pied a terre, a spectacular villa, a discreet villa, a penthouse, a house with a mooring at the foot of the garden, an apartment, a land to plan your future home or a farm in the countryside.
With hundreds of satisfied clients from Spain and all over the rest of the world now living their dream lives in the prestigious area of Sotogrande, the team at Sotograndeonline maintains good ties with owners (who were buyers in their day) and speak Spanish, English and German to help you throughout the buying journey.
Covering the best and most prestigious areas of Sotogrande including the beautiful coast, the charming marina, the Sotogrande La Reserva Club and the stunning Sotogrande Alto with its fabulous view, Consuelo Silva and Gian Carlo Borda have extensive knowledge and experience in all corners of Sotogrande to find the perfect property for you.
Website: Click here
Address: Galerias Paniagua local 3, 11310 Sotogrande, San Roque
Telephone: +34 609 510 257 / + 34 629 658 733
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Click here
Instagram: Click here
2. Estate Agents Marbella
Focussed on bringing a personal touch to prime property in Marbella and Sotogrande, Estate Agents Marbella have been operating as a luxury property agent since 2002. Running the business as a family, they know how important it is to find somewhere that everyone loves and that has something for everyone, whether that be a villa with a pool and mountain views, or one with multiple bedrooms, each with its own ensuite.
Telephone: 952 88 77 24
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here.
3. Sotogrande – Marbella Homes
The go-to estate agents from Marbella to Sotogrande and located in the prestigious port of the latter, this company has more than 20 years of experience, boasting a team of dedicated and passionate real estate agents to help you find the perfect property. With access to a wide selection of properties in Sotogrande, they collaborate with all real estate agents in the Costa del Sol to provide the best service and choice for their clients.
Telephone: 956 790 025
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here
4. Future Homes
A family-run business dealing in real estate since 1999, Future Homes have over 20 years of experience when it comes to finding you the perfect property. They pride themselves on knowledge, credibility and consistency, knowing their real estate market inside out and mostly recommend and offer their direct properties to clients, ensuring the highest quality homes specific to each new potential buyer.
Founded by qualified lawyer Victoria Lewis in 1999, her two daughters have joined her in running the business, along with multilingual office manager Martyna, to offer a personal service for a wide array of clientele, from their family to yours
Telephone: 952 796 389
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here.
5. Terra Meridiana
Initially started by husband and wife Adam Neale and Theodor Delville in 2003, Terra Meridiana is the product of their ambition to build a small and personal business to identify clients’ specific needs and desires when it comes to helping them find their perfect home. Their aim is to guide their clients through each and every step of the buying and selling process as seamlessly as possible, and they have a whole host of satisfied clients to prove how successful they’ve been at this and could be for you too.
Specialising in the areas of Estepona, Marbella, Benahavis and Sotogrande, Adam and Theodor are committed to offering a professional, transparent and high-quality service to all of their clients and with access to 99 per cent of properties on the market, they will do everything they can to match the client with their perfect property.
Telephone: 951 318 480
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here
6. Genius Properties
In line with their motto ‘intelligently simple’, Genius Properties strive to make selling your property or buying your perfect home, whether it’s an apartment, townhouse, villa, land, or even something completely different, as straightforward as possible.
At Genius Properties, they make sure to listen carefully to their client’s specific requirements and desires in order to find them the perfect property which ticks all the boxes, even if this means sharing their earnings with another agent.
Telephone: 971 706 972
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here
7. Alvarez Real Estate
With over 10 years of experience, from their offices located on Estepona Port, Alvarez Real Estate has produced 100s of satisfied clients and property owners through being a familiar business with an intimate and transparent approach to real estate. By maintaining such excellent communication and links with their clients, this company really make sure that each individual customer finds a property that meets their requirements and specifications so that they can have the home of their dreams.
Telephone: 952 928 379
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here
8. Sur Estates
As one of the leading, most reputable estate agencies on the Costa del Sol, Sur Estates pride themselves on the knowledge, honesty, transparency, impartiality, integrity, hard work, dedication and attention to detail that they bring to every client’s property search. Their mission for the last ten years so far has been to provide an unparalleled real estate experience in which the client feels that their exact wishes and requirements are being met to a T.
Through intimate knowledge of the Costa del Sol’s most desirable areas and complexes, Sur Estates are able to offer a professional and personal service to their clients every single time, remaining involved at every stage of the process so as to offer continual support in order to exceed their client’s expectations when it comes to the real estate market.
Telephone: 951 507 232
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here
9. Alegra Estates
After leaving the busy city life of London in 2006 and moving to Estepona, married couple Mark and Joy founded Alegra Estates, renaming the company after the birth of their first daughter. They wanted to bring everything they find joyous about the Spanish lifestyle to their business and keep everything in-house in order to do so, ensuring the highest degree of client satisfaction by taking care of everything themselves from start to finish.
Having built connections with other agents along the Costa del Sol, the estate agents at Alegra Estates aim to provide their clients with as much choice as possible, so that they can actually enjoy the buying process, all proceedings dealt with professionally and personably. They also guide their clients through legal services, property management, area knowledge, schooling advice, interior design and local tradesmen, knowing how important all of these things are when it comes to choosing your home.
Telephone: 952 755 777
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here
10. Melrose Properties
Located in nearby Estepona’s port, Melrose Properties have their finger on the pulse when it comes to knowledge about properties in the area, and are fully committed to their clients, specialising in offering sound investment opportunities as well as expert guidance on sales and rentals. Whilst their independence means that they will prioritise the personal needs of the individual client, their listings and extensive network of associates and brokers have allowed them to build up their portfolio to offer the best properties.
Having committed themselves to the highest quality of customer service, the estate agents at Melrose Properties offer straightforward, clear and informative professional advice when it comes to buying or selling a property, supporting their clients from start to finish.
Telephone: +34 952 802 912
Email: [email protected]
Website: Click here
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories. Remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
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It’s no secret that the Denver real estate market has been hot, hot, hot for years now. So, when we heard rumblings of cooling, we asked real estate agents Stuart Crowell and Delroy Gill of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty’s Live Distinct team for their crystal-ball predictions about what’s to come in the Denver metro area.
Interest rates yo-yo, but the waiting game isn’t the best strategy.
Chances are, rates will keep increasing into the new year, Crowell says. Read: Home prices will stabilize, inventory will rise. “But in 2023, we do see those rates reversing, probably by summertime. That’ll likely coincide with the start of the election cycle for 2024.” Waiting until prices plateau to buy won’t necessarily save you money though. “The more the bubble pops,” Gill says, “the higher the interest rates have gone. So your bottom-line expenses are either going to be the same or cost more if you don’t get into the market now.”
Quality will be king.
More inventory means less urgency on the buyer’s part. “There will be a change in what is being purchased,” Gill says. “Builders and fix-and-flippers will need to have a better product than they do today to demand that high level of price.” And residential sellers should step up improvements to increase price and speed to contract, Crowell adds. “You’re going to need to boost curb appeal, do the paint and trim work again, and maybe fix up that bathroom that’s been bugging you for two years,” he says.
Size will matter less.
Especially with high-end resale, “[buyers] are going to be less cognizant of price-per-square-foot numbers,” Crowell says, “and more conscious that they don’t need a 6,000-square-foot monster, just a nice, really well-done home.” In other words, Gill says, buyers will prioritize smart design that uses space efficiently. “A lot of people are working from home these days,” he says. “They’re looking for a place where they can do everything and not have to leave. The space needs to be functional.”
Rich and warm interiors will reign.
Tastes will finally move away from colder, boxy design to a softer, more embellished aesthetic. “People are leaning more into very warm, richly finished homes,” Crowell says. “We’re seeing developers who were building strictly modern incorporate traditional elements again into their properties.” You’ll see it in color palette choices, Gill adds, noting that the ubiquitous gray-and-white interior scheme is already being eschewed in favor of tans and creams.
Estate agents’ organisation NVM held its first ‘open house day’ in three years this weekend, in an effort to ramp up interest in homes that have been on the market for some time.
In total, 11,000 houses were open for visitors and some 55,000 potential buyers saw at least one property for sale, the NVM said. The last open day took place in 2019, but a shortage of housing and coronavirus restrictions put paid to the event for the past two years.
Although there is still a lack of supply, estate agents say that some properties remain on the market for several months – often because they are overpriced, need substantial work or are in a less attractive area.
At the same time, rising interest rates are reducing the amount potential buyers can borrow.
Mortgage advisory group De Hypotheker says it dealt with 7% fewer mortgage requests in the third quarter of this year.
However, there was a sharp rise –13% – in the number of requests made by people under the age of 35 – indicating that the government’s decision to scrap transfer tax for young first-time buyers may be having an impact.
‘Youngsters would appear to be benefiting from the increase in housing supply, but there is still a real shortage,’ commercial director Menno Luiten said.
Rising interest rates have result in lower borrowing capacity and the average mortgage taken out to buy a house is now €309,000, down 5% on a year ago, De Hypotheker said. Interest rates have more than doubled to around 4.5% in a year.
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As co-founder of property development training company propertyCEO, here are the 10 questions I get asked most often, and the best advice I can offer you for each:
1. How small is ‘small-scale’?
There’s no formal definition, but typically you’ll be looking at projects of between 5 and 20 units, for example, flats or apartments that would produce a profit of between £100k and £500k over a period of 18-24 months. This is a real sweet spot since these projects are more profitable and, in many ways, more straightforward than a self-build or flip, but they’re too small for the larger housebuilders to be bothered with. That means you’ve got less competition – a very good thing.
2. How ‘straightforward’ is a small-scale development really?
A small-scale property development project has a bigger budget compared to a flip or a refurb, and this means you can afford to hire an experienced Project Manager to oversee the work on your behalf. This is a big plus since, on smaller projects, you will invariably have to oversee everything yourself, which can be both daunting and time-consuming. This larger budget also means you can afford to appoint a main contractor rather than a jobbing builder, which gives you a larger, more reliable organisation with better systems and greater abilities.
3. What does a small-scale project look like?
While a new build can fit the bill, it’s not the easiest route because you need to get planning permission first. In my opinion, a better path for a novice developer is to go for a conversion project. This could be converting an office, shop, bank, restaurant, light industrial building, etc. into apartments.
The government has recently granted comprehensive permitted development rights that allow us to change the use of these buildings (and others) to residential without needing full planning permission. It means there’s less planning risk, and because you’re dealing with an existing building, the projects are usually quicker than building from scratch. And you only have to look around your local town or city to see the countless commercial buildings that could be converted to residential using permitted development – it really is a huge opportunity currently, and many of these projects are relatively straightforward.
4. Will new developers be disadvantaged, given that they have no previous development experience?
This is a common misconception. The reality is that the new developer won’t be building or designing anything – that will all be done by a host of professionals such as contractors, architects, and project managers who are going to have decades if not centuries of development experience between them.
The developer plays a more executive role. Their job is to find a viable project, arrange the finance, appoint a team of professionals that will do the work, and play the role of Chief Executive Officer or CEO. They will have regular calls with the project manager, but they won’t be on-site every five minutes overseeing progress or banging heads together.
The core skills you need as a developer are management, organisational, people, and decision-making skills. And these are skills that many people already use in their day-to-day lives, jobs, and businesses, which is why development has such a broad appeal.
5. How should a new developer go about recruiting professionals?
Some key appointments will be obvious. You’ll need an architect to head up the design side of things, a contractor to undertake the construction, and a project manager to oversee the whole thing. I would also recommend hiring a planning consultant to ensure you’ve minimised any planning risk and a health and safety consultant to ensure you’re meeting all the regulatory requirements. Most of the other professionals you need will then follow on from these key appointments, with recommendations coming from the team.
Recommendations are the key to getting the best people – you should always get your team to suggest good people and then back appointments up by interviewing them yourself. It’s also worth mentioning that the development finance meets the cost of hiring all these people – you won’t usually be funding any of these costs out of your own pocket. The only exception is where you might have some preliminary work done by your architect or planning consultant before you buy the site, but this should typically be minimal.
6. How difficult is it for new developers to get finance, and where does this money come from?
Property development often involves investing less of your own money than buying a buy-to-let property, which surprises many people – and it’s one of the big attractions of small-scale development.
The money you need is split into two parts: asset finance, which is used to buy the property or land; and development finance, which pays for the costs of developing the project to completion, including all the finance costs and professional fees. A specialist commercial lender will usually lend you up to 70% of the asset finance, which means you will need to find a deposit of around 30% to buy the building/land.
However, many lenders are happy for you to borrow the bulk of this deposit money from private investors who typically earn an 8-10% return on their cash annually (a very attractive proposition for them) leaving you to fund only a fraction of the deposit yourself. And the very same commercial lender will lend you 100% of the development finance to cover all the development costs. A fair bit of cash is involved, but most of it comes from other people.
7. Where do I find a commercial lender?
The best way of accessing commercial lenders is via a broker. The property development lending market is mature and sophisticated, with many lenders and brokers in the field. The massive advantage of using a broker is that they’ll do the shopping around for you – and they won’t get paid until they’ve found you a lender and your project moves forward. This makes life a lot simpler for you as a developer since you don’t have to comb the market yourself. Another great source of investment is through specialist crowdfunding platforms that work with developers and private investors.
8. How can a new developer be confident that they’ve got their numbers right?
That’s where training comes in. Getting the numbers right is essential, but there are people on hand to help you. You would engage with a cost consultant/quantity surveyor to ensure your costings are accurate, and you can obtain quotes for many of the costs and fees. You’ll also be getting feedback from local residential estate agents on an achievable selling price. The good news is that it’s not all down to you; your commercial lender will insist that you target a minimum 20% profit based on the selling price of your units (GDV), and they will be crunching their own numbers independently to make sure your deal stacks before they agree to lend you any money. Plus, you would always include some contingency in your numbers to allow for any additional costs.
9. How important is training for people looking at development for the first time?
As someone who runs a training business, you possibly won’t be too shocked if I tell you that training is essential if you want the best chance of success. But to be honest, I don’t think that will surprise anyone. If you’re about to start on a venture that could net you a substantial six-figure profit in less than a couple of years, I think most people would accept that receiving training first is a no-brainer. And it’s not just about avoiding the pitfalls, it’s also about seeing the opportunities others can’t see, and getting decent training ticks both of these boxes.
10. How do I know if small-scale property development is for me?
The Guide To Small-Scale Property Development (available on Amazon) allows people to find out whether property development could be for them, providing an understanding of exactly what’s involved, what’s possible, and the good and the bad of it all.
There’s also lots of free training and materials available on the www.propertyceo.co.uk website. Either one should be an excellent place to start, giving you a flavour of the sector and helping you decide if small-scale property development is right for you. But, whatever you do, please do your due diligence before jumping in. Property development is an amazing way of creating wealth, but it’s not easy, and you significantly de-risk things by knowing where the pitfalls are before you start.
The British government’s ability to investigate the true ownership of properties has come into question after researchers found £700m of luxury homes previously linked to sanctioned oligarchs are not flagged for asset freezes.
The campaign group Transparency International UK has identified 33 houses, flats and office blocks in London or Surrey that are not marked as restricted on the UK property register, which it says have been publicly linked to sanctioned individuals, raising questions about whether they should have been flagged.
The properties in question include Witanhurst, a £50m house in Hampstead said to be London’s second biggest home after Buckingham Palace, and other valuable homes previously linked to the former Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich and the aluminium billionaire Oleg Deripaska.
Three are owned directly by people with names matching those designated for sanctions. A £31m home in Holland Parkhas an owner listed as Vladimir Evtushenkov, the largest shareholder in Russian IT company Sistema, and two flats in exclusive parts of Hampstead and Westminster have owners listed as Yuri Soloviev, an influential banker.
Soloviev was chair of the board of VTB, a bank with alleged close links to Russia’s government, although the bank has since reportedly said he left the board on the day the invasion of Ukraine started. Soloviev and VTB did not respond to requests to comment. Evtushenkov and Sistema declined to comment.
Oligarchs hit by sanctions are banned by law from selling property without explicit permission under an asset freeze that permits transactions only for the necessities to live, such as utility bills and food. Restriction notices on the Land Registry’s titles alert potential buyers, estate agents and lawyers that the property can be sold only with explicit permission from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), which enforces UK sanctions.
There are 106 properties subject to sanctions restrictions, 92 of which have been added since Russia launched its invasion on 24 February, the Land Registry said.
Britain has used financial retaliation as one of its main responses to the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s regime. The government said it hoped to impose a “large and lasting cost on Putin and those close to him”.
The findings by Transparency International will raise questions about the impact of financial sanctions, and the ability of the UK authorities to determine the true ownership of some of the most prominent addresses in the country. Many of those not marked as restricted are owned by opaque shell companies, but have been linked in previous reports to oligarchs, according to leaked documents.
Those properties include:
The £90m home on Kensington Palace Gardens which has been repeatedly reported as belonging to Abramovich. The Land Registry lists the owner as A. Corp Trustee Ltd, a Cyprus company that gave a company at Chelsea’s stadium as its service address.
Hamstone House, a £7m Surrey art deco mansion in the gated St George’s Hill estate that has been linked to Deripaska. The property is owned via Cyprus-incorporated Edenfield Investments.
Witanhurst, reportedly linked via a series of companies to the chemicals magnate Andrey Guryev. The property is owned via Boradge Ltd, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
Deripaska denied owning Hamstone House when approached by the Guardian. His spokesperson denied he was linked to Putin and said the property belonged to a relative. Guryev’s London-based lawyers said: “Mr Guryev does not own Witanhurst,” without providing further details. Guryev’s spokesperson has previously told the New Yorker that he was a beneficiary of a trust owning the property but not the legal owner.
Abramovich did not respond to a request for comment. He has previously not commented on reports about his properties, but has denied links to the Kremlin.
The research highlights the continued role of offshore secrecy jurisdictions in obscuring the true owners of properties.
Financial transparency experts say it is reasonable for authorities to examine properties controlled by family members or close associates of people designated for sanctions, as they may in some cases be held on behalf of another person. UK government guidance says asset freezes can apply even if property is held in another person’s name, if it is reasonable to believe that the designated person has control of it either directly or indirectly.
Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP who has campaigned to improve the UK’s transparency laws, said: “These important findings demonstrate that there could be glaring gaps in our sanctions regime stemming from a total lack of transparency in much of our financial world, especially our property market.
“If sanctioning Russian companies and individuals is to have any hope of crippling the Russian economy, then the new government must look again at how our sanctions are being enforced. Then the next step must be to urgently consider how we can move from seizing oligarchs’ wealth and assets to support the war effort in Ukraine, instead of just freezing them.”
Restriction notices on Land Registry titles act as a first line of defence to prevent properties being sold by people subject to asset freezing sanctions, although lawyers and estate agents must by law also make their own checks on whether buyers and sellers are subject to sanctions.
The notices typically use identical text saying sellers require “the written consent of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation”.
HM Land Registry (HMLR) said some properties would not be marked as restricted because there was not enough evidence of ownership, particularly if they were owned via anonymous trusts. In some cases public reports of ownership of a property have been incorrect, she added.
“HMLR has no powers of investigation and must rely on other sources of evidence to determine if a name match to a sanctioned individual can provide sufficient proof that it is also owned by that person,” a spokesperson said. Evidence of ownership can be “very difficult to obtain, if at all”.
Ben Cowdock, investigations lead at Transparency International UK, said: “Sanctions will only achieve their intended aims if they are enforced effectively, which is dependent on the private sector’s active compliance with the law.
“It is vital that businesses inform authorities if they identify assets belonging to sanctioned individuals, and highlight where any properties subject to these restrictions should not be for sale. Failure to do this creates an information black hole, which increases the risk of sanctions evasion.”
A new conveyancing platform has been launched with online features and an app designed to streamline the homebuying process.
Rello’s software includes a ‘Move Progression Service’ and a ‘Conveyancing Marketplace’ set up to make the chain more transparent and faster.
It promises to facilitate the progression of chains and ‘unlock’ business hours for agents and brokers. By chasing the parties in a home purchase, Rello says it makes it quicker to reach exchange and completion dates, saving weeks of delay.
The Rello Marketplace allows estate agents and mortgage brokers to refer their clients to conveyancers.
Its ‘Chain View Tool’ gives an overview of the entire chain to every party involved including the buyers and sellers.
From the company HQ in Haddenham, near Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, Rello first started operating earlier this year.
On a mission
Harry Cooke (pictured), Rello’s business development manager, says in a promotional video: “We are on a mission to simplify the home-moving experience.
“There is a lack of communication between the different links in the chain, but also a lack of transparent information that should be available to everyone.
“That’s what Rello are here to fix. We have developed a platform that will give estate agents, solicitors and home movers access to transparent information across the entire chain.
“It will mean less time on the phone chasing the different parties involved.”
“It will mean less time on the phone chasing the different parties involved,” he says.
Rello co-founder Andrew Weston was also a founder of conveyancing giant Smoove.
Rady said: “The rules were pretty clear, if you’re promoting a housing opportunity, you need to declare the advert as Special Ad Category: Housing to prevent discrimination.
“For the first six months or so, any advert that listed keywords such as house, property, landlord, rental, estate agent was flagged by the algorithm and ‘rejected’ if it wasn’t listed as Special Ad Category – even if it wasn’t promoting a housing opportunity.
“This was a pain for most, but you could always jump onto Facebook Live Chat support, explain your case and nine times out of 10, they would approve the adverts.
“Over the past few months, however, Facebook has made further updates to the algorithm and made the rules even more restrictive.”
Rady said the reason TVPN as a marketing agency was so reluctant to use the Special Ad Category in the beginning was that it significantly affects your targeting options.
You cannot choose the age range, add any targeting or exclusion options and must target at least a 10 mile radius.
For agents who cover a small patch in London for example, this can be a real issue, Rady said.
Webinar co-host Paul Long added: “The algorithm has also become stricter, and the rules have been updated to include mortgages and appraisal services, so there is no avoiding the Special Ad Category now.
“In fact, we have experienced issues of completely compliant ad accounts being disabled, business manager accounts being restricted and more worryingly, business pages being permanently banned from advertising.
“Our advice to anyone using Facebook ads for their business in the property sector is to follow all the rules to a tee. If you’re running any property ads whatsoever, declare them as Special Ad Category.
“If you cover only a small patch and are concerned about the 10 mile minimum radius, we advise you mention the target area at every opportunity in the advert – in the caption, the description and on the actual ad image/video. Call out to the people you’re targeting, and the algorithm should do the rest.
“We hope that anyone affected by the new update will join us on the webinar. We’ll be giving a range of tips to get the best out of Facebook advertising under the new rules.”
The ValPal Network webinar on Facebook updates is on Wednesday 12 October at 1pm.
Find out more and sign-up: https://bit.ly/facebookupdateswebinar.
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