Interviewing John Fisher, managing director of the oldest independent property company operating in the Thames Valley, gave me the warm feeling that despite the vagaries of a global pandemic, everything is actually going to be fine.
Having been established for 125 years and with John at the helm for the last few decades, there is an air of calmness about the company which generates a degree of confidence. Decisions are measured and actions calculated, which I guess is possible when you have a strong balance sheet and reputation.
Building upon the sage words of John Fisher and others, we have identified more chinks of light in the market worth exploring.
- Companies with strong balance sheets and which entered the current market downturn with cash in the bank, will be able to move quickly as the market returns.
- The Government will use the massive structural shifts in the market to force changes to the property sector. This is most evident in the planning system.
- Construction companies are reporting that the majority of their sites in the region are open. This means suppliers, consultants and contractors are now starting to deliver projects which will create activity across the sector.
- The housing sector remains active with a need to produce 300,000 homes per year across the UK. This need has not changed and will generate activity across the Thames Valley on key sites.
- Completion of infrastructure projects such as the Elizabeth Line remain mission critical and the region still sits in the honeypot including it, Heathrow Airport, M4 smart motorway upgrade and arrival of HS2 to West London.
One final point about my discussion with John Fisher and our stories of T A Fisher’s success and growth, has stuck with me: the interest in local brands. People like to buy from a company they trust and which has a pedigree in the local market.
Maybe this is now the opportunity for us to adopt the tagline, Made in the Thames Valley on our products?
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