Ingenious Real Estate is now focused on supporting more sustainable commercial and residential property schemes in the UK following the latest funding commitment from Shawbrook.

The London-based investment manager, part of the Ingenious Group, is aiming for net-zero developments to account for 25 per cent of its portfolio by December this year and has secured a new £35 million revolving credit facility from Shawbrook Bank to originate sustainable opportunities.

Founded in 2014, Ingenious Real Estate provides debt and equity capital to experienced, mid-market developers in the residential, commercial and mixed-use sectors. To date, its team has provided loans worth £500m and supported the completion of 2,400 units.

The firm recently provided a £19m loan to developer Citu to support the development of the Climate Innovation District (CID) in Leeds city centre – the UK’s first low carbon urban neighbourhood. More than 800 homes will be built in four phases using a timber-framed system designed to reduce carbon emissions at each stage of development.

Sustainability sits at the heart of our investment strategy and we want to support those innovative, cutting edge projects that will be vital in pushing the boundaries of sustainable development as we aim for net-zero.

The Leeds Climate Innovation District represents a landmark development project in the UK and this revolving credit facility from the Speciality Finance team at Shawbrook will enable us to support more such schemes, while driving further growth in our real estate development and bridging finance business.

Howard Sefton

Investment Director at Ingenious Real Estate

We share the same values as Ingenious in supporting ambitious developers to deliver innovative and sustainable schemes. This credit facility will provide Ingenious with the flexibility it needs to serve their clients’ complex funding needs.

We have a long-standing relationship with Ingenious and look forward to seeing the experienced team support more progressive schemes on the scale of the Leeds CID.

Luke Randell

Associate Director at Shawbrook Bank

Ingenious is today delighted to announce that Ingenious Real Estate Finance LLP has completed three new loans totalling £20 million to fund regional family homes in Felixstowe, Gateshead and Abberley, Worcester.

In Felixstowe, Ingenious Real Estate has agreed a development finance facility of £10.3m over 18 months with existing client Generator Group, to fund the development of 21 three and four bedroomed family homes and 10 one and two bedroomed flats. This latest agreement represents a  loan to gross development value (LTGDV) of 70%, linking in with earlier phases of an existing and proven project.   

In Gateshead, Ingenious Real Estate has agreed a development finance deal with The Morton Group Ltd to support the development of 17 family homes. The development features a mix of  three, four and five bedroomed properties in Street Gate. The facility of £4.6m has been agreed over 18 months for an LTGDV of 68%.

In Abberley, Ingenious Real Estate has agreed a development finance facility with a regular client, Piper Homes. This is the 4th deal between Ingenious and Piper Homes. The finance facility of £5m over 21 months has an LTGDV of 70%. The Abberley site, in the countryside between Worcester and Tenbury Wells will offer a range of 25 two, three, four and five bedroomed homes, including two bedroomed bungalows with excellent finishes throughout.

Sustainability sits at the heart of our investment strategy and we want to support those innovative, cutting edge projects that will be vital in pushing the boundaries of sustainable development as we aim for net-zero.

The Leeds Climate Innovation District represents a landmark development project in the UK and this revolving credit facility from the Speciality Finance team at Shawbrook will enable us to support more such schemes, while driving further growth in our real estate development and bridging finance business.

Howard Sefton

Investment Director at Ingenious Real Estate

We share the same values as Ingenious in supporting ambitious developers to deliver innovative and sustainable schemes. This credit facility will provide Ingenious with the flexibility it needs to serve their clients’ complex funding needs.

We have a long-standing relationship with Ingenious and look forward to seeing the experienced team support more progressive schemes on the scale of the Leeds CID.

Luke Randell

Associate Director at Shawbrook Bank

Formed in 2013, Ingenious Real Estate focuses on providing senior development and bridging finance to well-designed schemes in locations across the UK that have a proven demand. Typical loan terms are 18-30 months, and the team has since completed more than £590 million worth of transactions. The current portfolio balance is weighted towards residential, with the majority of Ingenious developments qualifying for Help to Buy.

In September 2020, Ingenious became the first alternative lender to become a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). As part of this membership, Ingenious is actively seeking to engage through training programmes, thought leadership and access to the latest research so that it helps drive sustainable standards within the sector.

Ingenious is today delighted to announce that Ingenious Real Estate Finance LLP (Ingenious Real Estate) has completed four new loans totalling £52million to fund new residential developments in Liverpool and across Greater London.

In Liverpool, Ingenious has agreed a development finance facility of £32.5m over 24 months to fund the remaining construction of 1,000 student units with café, gym, cinema, dining rooms, and study rooms in the city’s Knowledge Quarter.

In London, Ingenious has agreed three loans totalling £19.8m for developments in Harrow, Hadley Wood and Croydon.

A facility of £11.4 million over a 22-month term, with a LTGDV of 70% has been agreed with developer Tremula Investments Limited to fund 40 flats in Harrow, North West London.

In Hadley Wood, North London, a £5.9 million development finance facility has been agreed with Toorak Apartments Limited over a 22-month term with a LTGDV of 66% to fund the demolition of the existing building and construction of a block of nine apartments – all completed to a high specification.

Finally, a £2.5 million facility has been agreed with Zunikh Property Developments to fund the development of six townhouses in Croydon, South London. Each unit benefits from three bedrooms, a study, private garden and roof terrace. The loan term is 18 months with a LTGDV of 70%.

We’re really pleased to be able to support these projects in Liverpool and across London. We continue to see appetite for quality development deals across the country as pricing & demand remain strong. We’re delighted to be working with all our partners on these projects and look forward to progressing with each development.

Tom Brown

Managing Director of Real Estate

These latest loan agreements represent the continued demand for residential real estate development across the UK, despite initial concerns around delays to construction as a result of the impact COVID-19 had on the sector. Previous deals this year include a £19m loan facility with property developer Citu, to fund the next 120 units at the Climate Innovation District (CID), the UK’s largest sustainable development, in Leeds; a £5.3 million loan facility to a joint venture between Indigo Capital Solutions and Blakesley Estates for a development in the seaside town of Westward Ho!, North Devon and a partnership with Piper Homes, to finance a £7.5 million loan for 26 family homes in the village of Upper Rissington in the Cotswolds.

Formed in 2013, Ingenious Real Estate focuses on providing senior development and bridging finance to well-designed schemes in locations across the UK that have a proven demand. Typical loan terms are 12-30 months, and the team has since completed more than £500 million worth of transactions. The current portfolio balance is weighted towards residential, with the majority of Ingenious developments qualifying for Help to Buy.

In September 2020, Ingenious became the first alternative lender to become a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). As part of this membership, Ingenious is actively seeking to engage through training programmes, thought leadership and access to the latest research so that it helps drive sustainable standards within the sector.

First published on Citywire NMA

For over a year, many investors have held off on making vital decisions due to the fear of the unknown, longer-term impact of the pandemic. While investors can be forgiven for their continued caution when it comes to making long-term financial planning decisions, they need to accept that yet another year or more of inaction brings its own real risk. And the longer they vacillate, the more risk they are taking in missing out on the potential benefits of the right financial strategy.

Advisers with clients planning for later life are typically looking to achieve steady, inflation-beating returns with low volatility. But investors are cautious about listed markets where they see high volatility driven by market sentiment, so increasingly, many are considering unlisted investments as they are not affected in the same way. Still, the pandemic has had a profound impact on most industries, but one sector that has remained resilient, and in fact surprised most with positive results, is residential real estate.

Residential real estate

The affordable end of the housing market benefits from some core fundamentals that helped it withstand the pressures experienced by other sectors. There is a structural lack of supply to meet demand in the UK and in 2018 alone, 80,000 fewer houses1 were built than were required. This has caught the attention of the Government and supportive policies such as Help to Buy has further sustained the demand for completed housing. Most recently, the Government identified the property sector as key to the UK’s economic resilience and recovery from COVID-19, with other measures such as the stamp duty holiday contributing to average house prices ending 2020 up 8.5%2.

Conservative secured lending model

Despite these positive forces, there are risks with investing in the property market, so a conservative strategy is key to protecting investors. Rather than taking an equity or ownership position in a single housebuilder, developer or physical property, a portfolio-based, secured lending model offers a number of risk-mitigating benefits. By lending to a range of developers, carefully selected on a project-by-project basis, and earning a fixed rate of interest, there is inherently lower volatility. Protection is enhanced by taking a senior debt position on each development. Clear loan terms also mean that regular interest is paid, and the repayments of the loan begin as soon as discrete units of a development are sold, creating liquidity for the portfolio and maintaining diversification benefits for investors. By contrast, equity or ownership investments and their valuations can fluctuate over time as the asset price changes and ultimately, any drop in value is immediately felt by the investor. In the lending model, this isn’t the case, and any loss in value is initially felt by the developer, not the lender.

How can your clients benefit across later life

While this strategy has been proven to deliver steady investment growth over time for investors in the post-retirement stages of their lives, they often have an additional objective to consider. How can they pass on maximum wealth to their loved ones when they die? There are two contributory parts to this objective. First, which we have already covered, is the need to grow their wealth to combat the effects of inflation and drawdowns. Second, is the wish to mitigate the impact of Inheritance Tax, which can reduce one’s legacy by 40% upon death. Business Relief services are a popular way for investors to select an investment that meets both their growth target and the objective to optimise wealth transfer. They also retain full access to their savings in case their circumstances change, or an emergency arises. This level of flexibility and security should ease the concerns of investors who are paralysed by caution in these uncertain times and allow them to confidently plan for their future goals today.

1Savills, 2018
2ONS, UK House Price Index: December 2020

Ingenious is today delighted to announce that Ingenious Real Estate Finance LLP has completed two new loans totalling £12.8 million to fund new residential development projects in North Devon and the Cotswolds.

Westward Ho!, North Devon

Ingenious is providing funding for the development of 22 apartments to a joint venture between Indigo Capital Solutions and Blakesley Estates in the seaside town of Westward Ho!, North Devon. The facility is £5.3 million over a 22-month term, with a Loan-to-Gross-Development-Value (LTGDV) of 69%. The apartments will benefit from sea views and be completed to a high specification.

In addition, Ingenious has partnered with established new homes builder, Piper Homes, to finance a £7.5 million loan for 26 family homes (four flats and 22 houses) in the village of Upper Rissington in the Cotswolds. The loan term is 21 months with a LTGDV of 70%. The new homes will be ideally situated just a short walk from the outstanding Rissington Primary School as well as local amenities. This will be the third project on which Ingenious has partnered with Piper Homes.

Tom Brown, Managing Director of Real Estate at Ingenious, commented: “We’re really pleased to be able to support these two projects in Devon and the Cotswolds. This represents the third time we have worked with Piper Homes and we’re delighted to be working with them again on this exciting new development.”

Upper Rissington, Cotswolds
As the economy continues to reopen and recover, we are determined to source, fund and commit to high quality developments across the UK and continue to seek further, similar development opportunities. We are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for the real estate sector, particularly the continued demand for residential property, and we remain committed to providing flexible, cost effective financing solutions for our clients.

Formed in 2013, Ingenious Real Estate focuses on providing senior development and bridging finance to well-designed schemes in locations across the UK that have a proven demand. Typical loan terms are 18-30 months, and the team has since completed more than £480 million worth of transactions. The current portfolio balance is weighted towards residential, with the majority of Ingenious developments qualifying for Help to Buy.

In September 2020, Ingenious became the first alternative lender to become a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). As part of this membership, Ingenious is actively seeking to engage through training programmes, thought leadership and access to the latest research so that it helps drive sustainable standards within the sector.

When it comes to estate planning, Business Relief (BR) services are a popular choice for investors who would like to retain control of and continue to grow their wealth, whilst mitigating against Inheritance Tax. And whilst these aspects of estate planning have been objectives anticipated by advisers for some years, increasingly there is an additional challenge. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are an ever-rising priority for many clients, especially as significant wealth is transferred to a younger and more socially conscious generation.

One investment strategy that can offer compelling returns for BR investors is secured lending to the real estate sector. Through investing in portfolio companies that provide senior, asset backed loans to developers on a project-by-project basis, investors have achieved steady returns with low volatility in a challenging investment environment. The real estate sector is not often considered to hold any ESG credentials, due to the perceived environmental impact of construction. However, in parts of the market, a focused investment strategy, construction reforms and Government initiatives can make for a more socially conscious investment opportunity than may present itself at first.

Social impact

There is a longstanding, structural shortage of affordable housing in the UK, leaving huge pent up demand in communities across the country. Without alternative lenders funding development projects across a diverse range of locations, this is set to worsen and could push affordability further out of the average household’s reach. The supply deficit has been recognised by Governments for several years. In response, a raft of policies have been enacted, for instance, Help to Buy, that has enabled many, often first-time buyers onto the property ladder at a more affordable level than would ordinarily be possible. Whilst this makes for a compelling investment opportunity, it also means investors can make a real social contribution by supporting the Government’s objective to build more affordable housing.

Sustainability

However, the pressing issue of the environmental impact within residential real estate investment remains and if we are to meet the nation’s Net Zero 2050 targets, the construction industry must play a big part. Currently, according to the UK Green Building Council, the total built environment accounts for over 40% of the country’s carbon emissions, with half of that coming from the construction and operation (such as heating and cooling) of buildings. If the UK is to meet its commitment to become carbon neutral within the next 30 years, a fundamental shift is required in the delivery and design of new developments.

In September 2020, Ingenious became the first alternative investor to become a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), signing up to its mission statement to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment, by transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated.

At Ingenious, we are committed to financing more sustainable developments and we have ambitious targets to increase the portfolio’s exposure to them in 2021. An example of the developments we will support as part of this effort is the Climate Innovation District (CID) in Leeds. In January, Ingenious completed a £19 million deal to fund the second phase of this development, which will ultimately become the UK’s largest urban sustainable development1.

The developers, Citu, are committed to building sustainable homes that people want to live in. The structural frames, built in a factory local to the development, are made from timber, which is carbon negative.  Windows are triple glazed for maximum efficiency and the houses are so energy efficient that the roof mounted solar panels create more energy than is required by the buildings, so it can be sold to the national grid. The MVHR heating system provides fresh air circulation while keeping heat within the building. In the communal areas, there are green walls, sympathetic planting to encourage bees and butterflies and even an otter house at this riverside location.

Combining the social impact of the contribution towards building affordable housing and the environmental impact of driving more sustainable practices within the construction industry, loan finance for real estate development projects can not only be an effective investment to grow wealth while mitigating IHT, but is an increasingly valid option for ESG conscious investors.

1Citu & Knight Frank, Climate Innovation District Information Memorandum, 2020


Ingenious announces that Ingenious Real Estate Finance has secured a £25m revolving credit facility from Shawbrook Bank, the specialist UK savings and lending bank, to support the growth of its development and bridging loan portfolio.

The wider Ingenious Group was founded in 1998 and is one of the UK’s leading private alternative investors, having managed the deployment of over £9bn across the real estate, infrastructure, media and education sectors.

Ingenious Real Estate Finance is focused on mid-market stretched senior and bridging finance on residential and commercial development projects located primarily in London, the South East and other major regional centres of England and Wales and their commuter belts.

The growth of Ingenious Real Estate Finance’s development and bridging finance portfolio is being supported by Shawbrook Bank’s Specialist Wholesale team. Shawbrook has provided a bespoke facility to meet specific funding requirements.

Howard Sefton, Investment Director at Ingenious, said: “Ingenious Real Estate Finance is delighted to announce this new key strategic partnership with Shawbrook Bank. The new term revolving credit facility will assist in funding further growth in our real estate backed development and bridge finance business in 2021 and beyond.”

Stuart Mogg, Corporate Finance Director at EY, said: “We are delighted to have supported the team at Ingenious on such an important capital raise. It has been a pleasure working with Tom, Howard and Wensde along with the rest of the Ingenious team. We look forward to working with them again in the future.

“Executing the deal under remote working conditions demonstrates our flexible approach and ability to adapt to a complex situation and help support our clients. I would also like the thank the teams at Shawbrook, Travers Smith and Ashurst for adapting their approaches during this challenging time.”

Warren Mutch, Structured Finance Senior Director at Shawbrook Bank, said: “Ingenious Real Estate Finance is a well-established lender that is expanding its footprint in the development finance market. We have been very impressed with their offering and management team and look forward to working with them. Equally, we continue to enjoy a strong relationship with EY’s Debt Advisory team as a regular introducer of funding opportunities and we are pleased to get 2021 off to a strong start with them.”

Savills currently forecast a 4%1 growth in UK house prices in 2020 and the latest data from Nationwide shows that they grew at an annual rate of 6.5%2 in November, the fastest rate since January 2015. As the sector seems to be shrugging off the lockdown conditions, we are often being asked if we believe the market is overheated and we are in for a torrid 2021.

Ordinarily, economic downturn and spikes in unemployment, would drive house price falls, but the impacts of this pandemic are more complex. They are expected to be relatively short term and not structural in the way the Global Financial Crisis was, for instance. In addition, huge numbers have been motivated to consider their living conditions and move up the ladder or locations. The house price data therefore takes into account areas where price growth has been higher, for instance family housing outside city centres, as well as where prices have fallen, such as Prime Central London.

Earlier in the year, the Government was swift to act to support the housing market through the pandemic. Construction work continued through both lockdowns, SDLT has been suspended on the first £500k for owner occupiers and a short extension to Help to Buy has been introduced to sustain the market, in addition to further reductions in Base Rate. This stimulus, combined with pent up demand from the first lockdown has played through to rapidly recovering transaction volumes throughout the second half of 2020. Latest data shows that sales agreed were only down 8%3 on last year in September underlining the resilience of the market.

Whilst house price rises are unlikely to be sustained throughout 2021 and some heat is likely to come out of the market, data does not point to a crash or correction. Knight Frank (KF) forecast a 1%6 national increase and Savills forecast prices to flatten across 2021. Only 8%7 of surveyors anticipate any price rise next year.  Looking further ahead though, KF and Savills anticipate a cumulative increase of 15% and 20.4% for the 5-year period from 2020-2024.

Crucially for us as lenders to the development market, a national average can mask underlying trends, and geography and price point will show variations in performance. However, the UK’s structural shortage of housing at the affordable end of the market remains. Through active management, to an extent, we can manage economic risks. We are avoiding certain areas of the market and diversifying investments to maintain a balanced portfolio, including developments that are intended for long-term rental and locations where there is a balanced economy.

1Savills, Revision to our mainstream residential market forecasts, 30.11.2020

2Nationwide House Price index, November 2020

3Savills, November 2020

4Capital Economics, UK Housing market update, 4.11.2020

5ONS, Employment in the UK: October 2020

6Knight Frank, UK Property Market Outlook: 7.09.20

7RICS Residential Market Survey, October 2020


Article by Tom Brown, Managing Director of Ingenious Real Estate 

First published Today’s Conveyancer 

The macro-economic conditions of the last five years have presented a relentless challenge for money managers seeking to produce consistent returns. It seems an all too distant memory that UK markets were caught in a period of low volatility since the recovery from the financial crisis started in 2009. Enter 2016 and we have since found ourselves in an era of exceptional uncertainty. An acrimonious Brexit referendum and the following ambiguity, pressure on sterling, repeated challenges to the UK Government, a trade war between two of the world’s super-powers and now a global pandemic.

Under these exceptional conditions, many investment strategies have understandably struggled to sustain the growth that investors had previously enjoyed without taking on elevated levels of risk and experiencing greater volatility and its associated negative impact. While Coronavirus has not been a threat isolated to the UK, the global impact on stock markets is making it harder than ever for UK investors to find an investment with low volatility and the prospect of growth. Across world markets, both developed and emerging, we are seeing drops in company valuations, recessions, poor jobs data and rock bottom consumer confidence.

However, Ingenious Estate Planning has been operating an alternative investment strategy in real estate lending for several years and over this turbulent time, it has continued to produce a steady return, with low volatility1. The strategy invests in experienced, unlisted property developers that possess little correlation to the main listed markets2 and there are promising signs that certain areas of the UK property market are showing sustained resilience to the global pandemic, as I discuss further here.


Real Estate

The affordable end of the UK’s residential real estate market has proven to be extremely robust during the recent uncertainty. The market benefits from some core fundamentals that have assisted it withstanding a lot of the pressures experienced by other sectors. Firstly, a large and sustained supply deficit. In 2018 the UK built 80,000 fewer houses than the actual requirement of 300,0001. This strong, inherent demand poses a clear investment opportunity to investors who can fund construction projects in the safe knowledge that there is an established demand on completion.

Secondly, this supply deficit has been recognised by Governments for several years and there has been a raft of policies enacted, all supportive of building more houses. For instance, the Help to Buy scheme has enabled many, often first-time buyers onto the property ladder. This scheme means there is a well-established and subsidised group of buyers ready to buy whenever developers complete construction.

Thirdly, and more recently, the Government has acted quickly to identify the property sector as one that is key to the UK’s recovery from Covid-19. Proposed relaxation of planning laws, a stamp duty holiday and extension of the Help to Buy scheme, coupled with changing consumer demands for more outdoor space has left the confidence in the housing market at a four-year high3. Both the construction and sales market are being given valuable incentives that support an ongoing return for real estate investors. While it may be questioned whether this is a short-term reaction, Savills recently revisited their 5-year house price forecast in the wake of the pandemic, but made no change to their predictions of a 15% rise across the UK as a whole by 20244, as fundamentals remain.


Secured lending model

Despite these positive forces however, there remain some risks with investing in the property market, so a conservative investment strategy is key to protecting investors. Rather than take a 100% equity, or ownership, position in a housebuilder, developer or single property, a portfolio-based, secured lending model has a number of clear risk-mitigating benefits. For instance, by lending to a portfolio of developers, carefully selected on a project-by-project basis, and by earning a fixed rate of interest, rather than taking equity risk, there is inherently lower volatility in returns, given the protection of a senior debt position on each development. Contracts set out clear loan terms meaning that regular interest is paid and repayments of the loan begin as soon as discrete units of a development are sold, creating liquidity for the fund and diversification benefits for investors. Upon final sale the repayment is made in full, all with the benefit of banking-style security protections. By contrast, equity investments and associated valuations can fluctuate over time as the asset price changes and so it is far more vulnerable to market conditions and sentiment, and ultimately any drop in value is suffered by the investor. In the lending model, any loss is initially felt by the borrower.


Ingenious Estate Planning (IEP) Private Real Estate

IEP Private Real Estate utilises this secured lending investment strategy, which has continued to deliver a consistent level of activity during the Covid 19 pandemic. Residential asset values and transaction volumes have held up well throughout the portfolio, across varying locations and price points, as evidenced through recent successful exits of projects in Southend-on-Sea, Bristol, Slough, Southall and Motspur Park through a combination of sales and refinancing. We have also seen partial repayments from completed projects in Rugby, St Ives, Bushey & Kingston at values that underline the performance of our portfolio of investments.

The Business Relief- qualifying service is commonly used by clients planning for later life, because after 2-years the Shares should be exempt from paying Inheritance Tax. As savers and investors reach retirement and decumulation, they present wealth managers with a unique set of investment problems. Without careful planning, the start of this phase for many could signal the end of any capital growth and herald their savings being eroded to pay for life’s needs. Any investment offering both high volatility and potential drawdowns may therefore become unpalatable. And while many would wish to gift savings to their children to mitigate the risks to their beneficiaries of paying a hefty inheritance tax bill upon their death, the thought of losing both control and access to these savings when they may still need them, means many feel uncomfortable in taking that step.

However, this does not need to be a fate accepted by savvy investors and planners who can utilise a proven trading strategy that continues to both carefully and predictably grow their investment while also providing potentially full relief from Inheritance Tax.

For more information on Ingenious Estate Planning Services, contact our business development team at investments@theingeniousgroup.com

1Ingenious, June 2020

2Ingenious, June 2020

3Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, August 2020

4Savills, 2018

Article by Matt Dickens, Senior Business Development Director
First published on Introducer Today

As the residential property market sits in the wake of prolonged uncertainty from Brexit and the unprecedented blow of the Covid-19 pandemic, I hear many conversations that conclude London will never be able to recover and the population must be running for the hills (or the suburbs of nearby market towns). Covid-19 has undoubtedly had a negative impact on city centres and none more apparent than London, exacerbated by its over-crowded public transport network that people are understandably reluctant to return to.

But I think there is more to this trend than initially meets the eye. Consulting the data issued by Savills on the return of the housing market since lockdown, although central London is showing signs of weakness, the suburbs of London have fared relatively well in recent months. And it seems to me that in the longer-term, London’s status as an international hub for travel, entertainment and culture will support its resiliency. The major uncertainty remains the timing of this, as the pandemic is of course not over, but city-living will always offer a unique range of facilities and infrastructure that will prove resilient and attractive in the longer term. Of course, I acknowledge that remote working and significant amount of time spent in the home has led people to reassess what is important to them and going forward outdoor space and home office areas will be a compelling feature of any development. But I don’t see a world where the whole country moves to traditional housing in the suburbs and countryside. Instead, there are some interesting trends that could accelerate. For instance, an increasing amount of city living may be rental in tenure and perhaps favoured by younger tenants wanting to live near others their age and make the most of the lifestyle benefits of being close to a range of facilities such as restaurants and bars.

In addition, the government has clearly prioritised the recovery of the housing market post-Covid with an extension of Help to Buy and temporary reliefs from SDLT to all buyers. This will especially favour the higher priced London/South East England markets where a ‘discount’ of up to £15k is available to buyers of new and second-hand homes.

So whilst London may be seen as having the most to lose from the impact of Brexit and the pandemic, we believe that through watching market data and listening to the emerging trends, there is still a large amount of opportunity for experienced developers who are building appropriate property at the right price.

First published on Bridging Introducer