Two networking meetings this week of Luton Landlords/investors and local Dunstable businesses and the message is the same - Post Brexit let’s MOVE ON in unity and make this work.
A week after the referendum I had the opportunity to find out what the feeling is of local businesses in Dunstable and landlords/investors in Dunstable & Luton as two of my regular monthly networking events took place allowing me to gauge the feelings of those present.
Tuesday was the 2nd anniversary of the Luton Property Investors Network ( Luton PIN ) . This event held once a month in the Hampton by Hilton hotel in Luton regularly attracts 40-50 new and experienced landlords and from the start 2 years ago I have been the Letting Agent updating those present on legislation changes and the current rental market. This has enabled me to build relationships with many of the investors not necessarily to do business, but to discuss the market and any changes and trends.
My own findings so far this year and especially since April is that the local housing market had eased slightly as had the rental market since May. A number of properties have been reduced in price recently and in the last 5-6 weeks rental enquiries have quietened and this is also evident from the number of rental properties currently on the market and being reduced. Many of these do require more realistic pricing and are costing landlords as agents leave them languishing at too high a rental price.
This month’s luton PIN meeting covered the opportunities in the serviced apartment market. This is something that an experienced landlord might not have considered yet but we were shown how the numbers involved can make it a very lucrative business model.
Obviously there was no crystal ball present, but the overwhelming view from the landlords I spoke to was that it was business as usual. There is and will continue to be strong tenant demand for good quality rental properties and if you are providing what the market demands there will continue to be a business or investment for these landlords.
If you are a new or experienced landlord and would like to attend one of the Luton PIN meetings email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can arrange a free invitation.
On Friday morning I was at the Networking at Dunstable meeting at the Holiday In Express in Dunstable. This is a monthly meeting of around 40 local businesses owners and at this month’s meeting the speaker was the Town Mayor who informed us of the current and proposed improvements to Dunstable. Many of these involve improving the presentation of the shops to make the streets in the town centre more appealing and therefore encouraging the continued take up by new business of the empty shop units. He also discussed the proposed improvements once the new junction 11a of the M1 is opened thereby taking the heavy goods vehicle traffic away from the town centre allowing the redesign of crossing points and other improvements in the town centre.
Each business owner has 30 seconds to introduce themselves and with their presentations and the general mood and discussions taking place it was evident that it was business as usual. In fact the obvious difference between the business owners and the politicians was that whether you voted leave or remain the decision had been made and it wasn't a time to continue the arguing or as was mentioned often in the referendum the scaremongering, but to work together as one unit and make it work which is in the best interests of everyone. Maybe local business groups such as this is something that the politicians need to learn from.
For many reasons the demand for rental property will continue and it is more important than ever that good quality, safe , legally compliant and well maintained properties are provided by ethical landlords and that local businesses continue to grow and provide jobs and growth in Dunstable.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice