Thursday, Oct 15, 2009

Old news but good commentary from the Guardian

Guardian: For sale: Britain's biggest buy-to-let empire

"That the Wilsons are now hoping to sell their entire portfolio says a lot about what "professional" investors think of the market. Maybe it is because the Wilsons simply wish to retire. Or maybe they believe the game is up for property investing...Don't bet against the Wilsons. They made a lot of money on the way up, and have lost only some of it on the way down. In the racing world they are regarded as eccentric enthusiasts, but their horse Cerium, a 500-1 rank outsider, romped home fifth in the Grand National this year. When they say it's time to sell, it's a compelling signal that falls in the property market are a long way from being over."

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:00 PM (1703 views)
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1. mountain goat said...

My own anecdotal story. I have a colleague who is a novice BTL'er. Spent a year fixing up his second place. But now he has lost his day job, and squirming whether to sell up (making a loss) so he and his family can move to a city where he can find work. I am sorry he is losing his job but in the BTL poker game I am playing opposite him staring into the whites of his eyes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 01:08PM Report Comment

2. uncle tom said...

Looks like the oligarch they had lined up has got cold feet...

They may not be as evil as Nicholas Hoogstraten, but there are accounts of them being less than charming - attempting on one occasion to get a tenant to pay for a complete bathroom suite, after a cistern lid got broken..

Thursday, October 15, 2009 01:19PM Report Comment

3. jack c said...

I'm puzzled regarding the Wilson's property 'portfolio'

Day after day I either hear or read about 'Pent up demand' a 'shortage of quality properties', 'now is the time to buy', 'interest rates at historic lows' 'stamp duty holidays' - the list of words and phrases is endless. Now the Wilson's do not own a block of city centre appartments they apparently own traditional family type houses - so if the market conditions are so good why havent they offloaded their 'portfolio' ?

Thursday, October 15, 2009 01:26PM Report Comment

4. mark wadsworth said...

It'll be fun watching this story develop.

Can anybody remember when they got their first coverage? Surely they must have been trying to flog off their "empire" long before it became a story. I'd give good money that in a year's time we'll be having a good old chortle at their misfortune, a bit like we did at Grant Bovey/Anthea Turner.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 02:04PM Report Comment

5. jack c said...

mark wadsworth - I agree as Fergus inadvertantly admitted in a recent radio interview that low interest rates were effectively keeping them affloat.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 02:12PM Report Comment

6. chrisa said...

I also remember the Wisons saying that 'if we go down everyone else is going to go down too'. This could be interesting.................

Thursday, October 15, 2009 02:20PM Report Comment

7. luckyjim said...

I bought the Guardian today. Micheal Jackson died ? Blimey

Thursday, October 15, 2009 02:34PM Report Comment

8. fallingbuzzard said...

Vultures that circle companies with liabilities greater than assets will always wait until the lion banks have ripped most of the meat from the carcass. They're stuffed but if they hadn't overextended and had diversified they would have made themselves multimillionaires. God knows what advice they took at the time but it must have been dispensed by a chimpanzee. Its sad but its almost always greed that takes people and businesses down.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 02:35PM Report Comment

9. greenshootsandleaves said...

ut @ 2 'They may not be as evil as Nicholas Hoogstraten, but there are accounts of them being less than charming - attempting on one occasion to get a tenant to pay for a complete bathroom suite, after a cistern lid got broken.'

Was that really the Wilsons? Anyway, there was a distinct lack of cooperation on the part of the judge. The writing's definitely on the wall when the judiciary cannot be relied upon to recognize the valuable social role played by BTL landlords and keep those pesky, unruly tenants in check.

Good article by Mr Collinson.

PS All sorts of valuable (but slightly off-topic) tips on this site on buying Oz/Austrian/Neustrian dollars, etc., so here's mine: always pick white for your bathroom suite, regardless of fashion (unless you're setting a trap for an unsuspecting tenant). White is white; finding an identical shade in any other colour is well nigh impossible!

Thursday, October 15, 2009 04:00PM Report Comment

10. stillthinking said...

I wanted to see if I could find anything about "if they go down everyone else goes down too" but I found a transcribed interview here on the forum of this site.

Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:31PM Report Comment

11. str 2007 said...

Well I struggle to believe they've only got £45million owing on these properties.

They used equity withdrawel to expand.

Personally I can't believe the debt is less than £100million. But suspect it to be alot closer to £180 million.

Afterall as they've let slip before the low interest rates are keeping them going. But if they only had £45million debt there would be a huge margin between rent and interest only.

Quick calc. £45million x 5% / 12 = £187,000 per month interest only.
700 houses at 600 per month is £420,000 per month.

As I said quite a margin if they only had £45million debt.

Plenty of margin to hand the whole lot over to a management company (or start there own) and enjoy their retirement.

They owe loads more than £45million.

Otherwise why sell.

Friday, October 16, 2009 03:23AM Report Comment

12. Baudot said...

Hey, it's the Guardian. How can anyone from the public sector not be charrming and worth every penny. Bless 'em.

Friday, October 16, 2009 07:25AM Report Comment

13. jack c said...

str 2007 - I think those of us who have taken a fair bit of interest in the Wilson's in recent months can reasonably safely conclude that they are forced sellers - time will tell but I'm with MW on this one.

Friday, October 16, 2009 09:20AM Report Comment

14. str 2007 said...


Likewise Jack.

Friday, October 16, 2009 11:13AM Report Comment

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