Reflections on MIPIM 2014

MIPIM was MIPIM with the usual suspects milling around looking for partners to do deals with and, frankly, I’m sure a number of deals were done during the four days.

Boris Johnson (bless him) was waxing lyrical about the concordat – a word no one quite understands – but I suppose it’s meant to mean a self regulating gentleman’s understanding with agents and developers to endeavour to focus marketing in the UK before going to the wilds of the East in search of buyers.

I’m pleased it is an informal understanding since to police it would be a veritable nightmare and you would have your work cut out if you did impose this restriction in order to enforce it.

What I did hear from senior representatives of Coutts and Barclays is that, contrary to popular belief, they are open for business and in residential development  – that is a first!

When I say ‘open for business’ it means that they will lend you 50-60% of a very conservative valuation for the property and the same again for the development costs as long as interest is paid along the way (not capitalised) and they get their money out first with an affective rate of 6-7% including fees in and out.

I’m afraid it is a case of heads they win and tails you loose and you will have to find the balance of the monies by using cash or private equities or both but that is the nature of the lending environment today. Six months ago they would have sent you out with a ‘flea in your ear’ and chastised you for the temerity of the suggestion “Will you lend me money on new development?”

Otherwise, people were in good spirits will no conspicuous obstacle in the way apart from the dreaded spectre of Mansion Tax that is worrying more people than most.  It is after all the most damaging fiscal legislative proposal since Window Tax.