With 70% of World's wealth in property maybe this is the job for you?

Thursday, May 06, 2010 by Ed Mead

If you want to work in the wonderful world of property, and with c. 70% of the world’s wealth wrapped up in it it’s not such a bad idea, there are a plethora of choices many of which you wouldn’t necessarily think about straight away. You can either be a wide boy or a boring old stiff. Sorry, allowing my prejudice to shine through there, I mean you can be a salesman or a true property professional. You can sell, let or manage a property, for which you need no formal qualification, or you can decide you want the surety of a long term job with equally long term qualifications.

However, if you fancy a job in a David vs Goliath environment then perhaps there’s a leftfield choice that offers a really bright future.

Back in the 80’s and 90’s the business of converting houses into flats really took off. It opened up the market to a plethora of new landlord/developers who recognized the short term benefits of buying, doing up and selling. However, the hidden long term bonus is only now beginning to emerge.

When these buildings were converted they were mostly sold on 99 year leases. Looked good in 1990 but now suddenly 79 years doesn’t look so good. Indeed the law on leasehold reform was altered recently to allow the calculation for a lease extension to ignore a mildly esoteric item called “marriage value”. I won’t bore you with details but suffice it to say that you’ll save more than half by extending your lease before it dips under 80 years. Hence with thousands of leases now dropping below this magic threshold all these first generation landlords are reaping a large bonus.

The upshot of all this is that there’s a chronic shortage of people who want to act for the little people, tenants, against the big people, landlords. So if you fancy a job that might be a bit more remunerative and exciting than you thought and that allows you to buff up your community spirit, then this could well be the job for you.