Posted by & filed under Industry News, Opinion.

After the somewhat unexpected and turbulent 2020 we have just navigated, I have been thinking and chatting to contacts regarding what parts of the industry will bounce back the quickest and where will be the best place to invest in property in the post pandemic years.

Last week a colleague sent details for the Virtual “Urban Living Lite” festival https://lnkd.in/dDGSUsf taking place throughout this week, so I checked the programme and signed up to some of the webinars!

One that really stood out was titled “Battle of the Asset Classes” and for those of you who didn’t attend you missed out on a great event! This forum featured 7 leading figures were given 5 minutes to pitch how to secure a £100m investment and the audience (myself included) would vote on the winner!

Each panellist put forward compelling arguments and did there utmost to convince us that their asset class would be the best place to invest in the coming years. So, a big thanks to all of those who presented; @Philip Camble (Whitebridge Hospitality), @Harry Douglass (HVS), @Jo Winchester (CBRE), @Ben Davis (Saxbury), @James Pargeter (GAA) @Paddy Allen (Colliers) and @Honor Barratt (Birchgrove).

My choice and the winner in the audience was Honor passionately representing, the Retirement Living sector, who even said if she had £100m she would put £1m into Jo’s Co-living assets but £99m into Senior Living. Why?

Well, we all know the population is aging, that’s a fact. There are lots of older people with large assets/capital and there is an under supply of “age appropriate” housing, Honor noted under 1% are in the right housing compared to circa 6% in other countries in Europe. She also argued it’s an asset class that can never reach peak supply, how its risk is measurable and there is so much potential for growth.
I have been reading reports from Savills / JLL on this sector over the last year and we seem to be right at the bottom of the curve with a very steep hill to climb and this to me (and others) offers huge investment potential and should make up a large part of someone’s portfolio.

One great point put forward by Honor was that this asset was probably the only one where the owner would get the property back in better condition than it was let in… and I know myself as a Private Landlord, this is like gold dust and can have a huge impact on operating costs and maintenance required on a day to day and end of tenancy basis.

As for effect of Covid, the tenants in my own property had to move out when the first lockdown hit as they all worked in hospitality & retail and I have had on/off void periods ever since, which is the first time in over 15 years of owning it… But for the retirement sector, this seems to have had a positive spin as well, with the younger generation realising they can’t or perhaps are not best placed to support their elderly relatives – and high-quality retirement living/care is.

So, in the end Retirement Living won my vote for the immediate future but it was a close call and all have a lot of investment potential. If I was in the fortunate circumstance to have or be in control of £100m of investment then a balanced approach across most of these assets would surely be the best play and I look forward to seeing who is proved right in the coming years!!

As always, I would love to hear your comments or opinions and do get in touch to network or for any help and advice.

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