Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dec 2006: House prices in UK will never crash, say Mr and Mrs Wilson of Ashford, Kent

2 x maths teachers + 700 houses = 1 x £240m buy-to-let empire

If you think house prices are already outrageous, look away now. According to two former maths teachers from south London, who are Britain's buy-to-let king and queen, the property market will never crash. Husband and wife magnates Fergus and Judith Wilson have just signed a deal to buy their 700th house. If things go to plan, they will become the country's first buy-to-let billionaires. Every week they buy another house - and on one day alone spent £10m buying 40 properties off a distressed developer. In the early 1990s the Wilsons were marking maths homework and writing school reports at a Blackheath comprehensive. Today their property empire is worth £240m - almost all of it within commuting distance of the Eurostar terminal in Ashford, Kent. They put their personal wealth at £180m.

Posted by lvmreader @ 10:21 PM (1786 views)
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22 thoughts on “Dec 2006: House prices in UK will never crash, say Mr and Mrs Wilson of Ashford, Kent

  • pity they’re closing ashford international now that everything goes through ebbsfleet…..

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  • crash bandicoot says:

    I have been meaning to post this a couple of times myself. Just how stupid are these people. They have produced a mini boom within a boom by saturation purchasing all of the local houses at above market value. They are not young folk either, so I would imagine that this is supposed to be a form of pension for them. The problem that they have is withdrawing any value from their portfolio (I believe that they only use IO mortgages but my connection is struggling at the moment) means selling houses. This is going to crash the local market, wiping out their empire and leaving them owing money rather than owning it.

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  • it_is_going_with_a_bang says:

    I doubt they care what what happens since they will always hide some money away so if it all goes t1ts up they will be fine – just not super rich.

    But to say that a normal 2/3 bedroom house will be worth”£1.6m by 2027″. Is utter nonsense. That is unless super-inflation takes hold.
    The housing market always eventually needs first time buyers. Even more so in the long term. Surely that would mean the average wage in a household would need to be approx 400k PA.
    And what about BTL? how on earth would you get a yield from a 3 bed house worth 1.6M? whose tenants could only be ‘average wage’ people.

    As for the quote “House prices in UK will never crash, say Mr and Mrs Wilson of Ashford, Kent. And they should know”.
    Why exactly? ‘Should they know’?

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  • The last I read on them, in Dec 2007, they were up to about 840 properties and turning down offers of £250m from Russians wanting to buy the entire portfolio. I’d be out of there like a bat out of hell (with an enormous wedge?) if anyone offered me similar. Let’s all hope their greed is their downfall.

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  • “House prices in UK will never crash, say Mr and Mrs Wilson of Ashford, Kent. And they should know”.

    Should read

    “House prices in UK will never crash, say Mr and Mrs Wilson of Ashford, Kent. And they should hope to hell they are right”.

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  • This couple has made a fortune and i hope they enjoy it.

    However to try and push thing further makes me a little sick – enjoy life dont make it miserable for those less fortunate by trying to romote thefuture of house prices, you have ben lucky – appreciate it and move on.

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  • A good old English piece of hemp…..

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  • The eurostar terminal isn’t even in Ashford anymore since the London link moved from Waterloo to KIngs Cross.

    Add to the equation the fact thats its apparently going to get tens of thousands of new homes built there over the next few years due to another of Labours great ideas, there won’t be the demand for the ex-teachers houses AND the prices will be falling.

    If they turned down £250m they deserve everything they get for being so stupid.

    “they should know” …..what, cause they used to be teachers?!?!?!?!? ha!

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  • Again, this is an old article – December 2006. I wonder how confident they feel today?

    They started investing in property in 1996 or so, when the market was at its very lowest point. Their portfolio has never had to go through a crash – at the time of the last crash they were safe in their teaching jobs.

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  • People keep telling me it isn’t going to crash, strangely the people who know this to be the case have either overstretched themselves on their current house or just remortgaged there current property.

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  • In my view, these people are an absolute disgrace and personify the greed of the last 10/15 years at it’s very, very worst.

    There should be government legislation to stop people, like these vampires, owning so many houses.

    I hope they lose all their money and rot.

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  • Cartimandua51 says:

    While I have (strong!) resevations about their position on the market never crashing, they are reputed to be good landlords – their rents are set only just above the mortgage payments so as to minimise tenant turnover and voids. There are far worse large scale landlords around.

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  • hpw et al…

    Sorry, in this I do agree, they will be fine with so much equity I think…

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  • I think their calculations are a bit off this time.

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  • In 1988, a very well educated friend of mine said ‘house prices will never come down, they will just level off for a while then go up again’.

    In 1992, to cut a long story short after letting myself get pushed into a joint mortgage in 1990, I found myself with negative equity equal to twice my annual salary.

    I so want to see the follow up articles in 2010.

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  • This story is over a year old and if the couple in question have any sense they will have sold up by now. If they haven’t it’s sad that their lives are so empty that they would rather run a property rental business than enjoy the fruits of their enterprise. I just hope that no one today is sucked into thinking that BTL is still a good business idea. I’ve seen this couple before and they’ve built their portfolio over many years. The idea that anyone could buy these properties today and make anything other than major losses in the medium term is a joke.

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  • nopensionnohouse says:

    I hope these scum get all they deserve. They are the couple that ended up on watchdog because they were ripping off tenants who were moving out by keeping all their deposits and trying to get more money out for ridiculous normal wear and tear?

    In one case the tenant had completely repainted the house but this wasn’t good enough for them.. They were threatening legal action against the tenant.

    Disgraceful in the highest order!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and_radio/watchdog/reports/homes/homes_20070418.shtml

    Karma, where are you?

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  • “House prices in the UK will never crash”. Exactly what I’d say if I owned their business.

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  • The Eurostar IS still running from Ashford and they plan to have fast domestic link services into London there in the future, with a possible loop around to Thanet; I have been working at the terminal in Ashford and can confirm the comments above are wrong about it having closed or is about to close. Some services have shared with Ebbsfleet e.g. business passengers.

    With regards to the teachers, they probably know exactly what they are doing as they came through the last property crash in the late eighties financially intact; you will probably find that the article was written to ramp up their own portfolio even though they are in no doubt of what’s coming. If I owned this portfolio, theres no way I would go to the press and spout out the truth; I’d be selling on the quite whilst offloading to people scared of missing out (the people who would beleive this article). As long as they own most of the portfolio and reduce their debt exposure I’m sure they will weather the next down turn as well, come on, these fcukers are Maths teachers you don’t get into this position by luck alone!

    Personally I blame the Govt for allowing the use of “homes” to be used as pensions and pure financial greed driven speculation and they need to impose 90% capital gains tax on people who use property in this way which would go a long way to help stop screwing the next generation who at the mercy of these people!

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  • stillthinking says:

    If you take the view that maths teachers have an important job, this makes the point that for every rags-to-riches tale of property speculation, people are lost from the real economy and become supported by others. At my job there is a contractor who has recently sold a single house and started renting, well done for getting out at the top etc, but he has essentially withdrawn from the labour pool while the idiot who bought his house is carrying him. I am not saying this is a marked effect, but does demonstrate how stupid the whole bias to property is, logical individually but a disaster for the economy as a whole.
    IF these two do go bust (which I don’t think will happen), they wouldn’t be able to pay the money back anyway, and essentially are a part of the NR bailout by our good selves. Given that banks don’t have business plans capable of dealing with defaults, how else can you view it?

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  • 12. Cartimandua51 said…
    While I have (strong!) resevations about their position on the market never crashing, they are reputed to be good landlords – their rents are set only just above the mortgage payments so as to minimise tenant turnover and voids. There are far worse large scale landlords around.

    I’m sure there are worse landlords about – but look at what they are doing. Fuelling a boom in houses so that ordinary folk can’t afford to buy, and then …. setting the rent higher than the mortgage payments. And according to some comments above they are then chasing tenants for money to pay for normal wear and tear. The rent should be BELOW the mortgage payment. Or certainly at about the same level as an IO mortgage.

    They want their cake and eat it. Stuff em.

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  • stillthinking says:

    Also, the first step of the return to the 19th century, when you were either on or off the property ladder with no chance of changing status. Also when there was an extremely high rate of migration to the US, which no longer exists or many of us wouldn’t even be on this site discussing anything.

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