So today involved property inspections in Rochester and I was delighted to be taking the high speed train. It means the journey time from Central London is just 37 minutes.
Arriving at the station, I was delighted to see massive progress on the regeneration of the Rochester Riverside project – a multi-million pound programme to regenerate the area.
Walking around I felt happy to see improvements in the local area – although was disappointed to learn that despite the pretty, and seemingly well equipped High Street, there is no longer any bank in the town.
Talking with my tenant, I discovered he was no longer working in London on building projects, but was now on the Rochester Riverside development.
“Wow!” I said brimming with enthusiasm, “I’m really impressed to see how far it’s come along!”
My tenant looked at me, unsure. “Hmm,” he started, “the thing is, we have paused all building work apart from those for council houses and Help To Buy.”
“Paused the work?” I asked again, trying to be sure I understood.
“Yes, we are now only building the council houses and the Help To Buy because nobody else is buying, it’s too expensive and people are too scared. Nobody is investing in property now, that’s why they just build what they need to build.”
“Oh,” I replied, my excitement quickly slithering away into the polished floorboards. “That’s disappointing to hear.”
On the train back I mused some more on this. Over the past year, I’ve heard many stories of a complete standstill in the property market with lots of people being unable to sell and estate agents shutting up shops. I know many avid property investors are also taking “time out” while they assess the market and decide next steps. However, the media continue to report that while sales are sluggish, there is some movement.
I pondered on the truth of the matter: What Is Really Happening To The Property Market?