Cogress Video Interviews
Watch Fyodor Blumin, Managing Director of Noel & Partners, talk to Jenny Hammond of Property Panorama
Fyodor what would you say investors are looking for in an opportunity today?
Investors in terms of what they are looking for I think is good value. What we have been seeing over the past two years, it’s very difficult to find value in London, in prime central London as valuations go through the roof. I think over the past 6 months, investors are becoming more and more savvy and trying to look outside of prime central London and in more peripheral areas in order to spot a deal. Ultimately, I think that’s what it boils down to, is an investment a good deal or not and that’s what investors are looking for in my opinion.
It seems like an obvious question really, but how important is trust and transparency in this industry
I think that doesn’t only sort of effect the real estate industry, it affects any industry any business. I think it is exceptionally important for someone to feel that they are getting a fair deal and nothing untoward is going on. So I think it is absolutely pivotal that you are able to trust the people that you are doing business with.
And the property industry is all above board compared to other industries in this country?
I think it is difficult to say that everything is above board but I think yes you know we are not as regulated as the financial industry, for example. But look at what happened in 2008, the regulations didn’t help there. But I think if you are doing business with the right people you should be in a good place.
Talk me through this development that we are at, at the moment.
So, we are sitting on the roof of the development that we have christened the penthouse edition. 12 months ago, we bought the space above an existing residential building and created two lateral penthouses with heaps of outdoor entertaining space, which will be launched onto the market in September.
There is obviously space issue in London community this kind of developments are becoming more and more popular as we go forward.
I think that is a question for planning officers. We need to obtain consent in order to build above existing buildings so yes, I think it may be a solution towards the housing crisis. I don’t think it will solve it but it’s a way forward.
So, what’s your feeling towards this sort of open equity platform that the likes of Cogress offer? How does that help investment do you think?
From a developer’s perspective, it helps hugely because obviously your equity goes a lot further working with a partner like Cogress. You are able to do more exciting deals and more of them. So, on that basis, I think it’s a great platform, great to work with a team like Cogress so I don’t have a bad word to say about them.
And the advantages of low entry to the investors what do you think?
Again in today’s market with such volatile, in such volatile times I think it’s great to diversify your portfolio from an investor’s perspective you know, move away from just having your money in stocks, move away from your money in just fixed income product. It’s a great alternative to the stock market, to have some exposure to the real estate market, so I think it is great.
And even considering the Brexit vote you think property is a sound investment still?
Fyodor: I do. I absolutely do, property in London we live in a Global city there is a fundamental shortage of housing. I think that potentially we will see, some as we have been seeing some cool off in prime central London. But I am very bullish on peripheral areas of London going forward. Yeah absolutely.
So finally what sort of trends are you seeing in the development industry?
In my view, there’s been a lot of cookie cutter developments coming into the market. And I think these are the ones that will struggle to sell in these uncertain times. So, what we try to do is create a product which is somewhat special and unique. And I think that is definitely a way to overcome these difficult times.
This is what people are looking for more, unique properties.
Absolutely. I think that’s what will drive the market, you cannot just believe that, from a developer’s perspective that just because you have comparables to support a certain exit value that you will be able to sell at that price point. Because you know there is a lot of choice and investors and buyers are becoming more and more savvy.