Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Latest `Good Times' Cannot Last Forever

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Latest `Good Times' Cannot Last Forever

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Johnson

Gerald Eve has been very successful in securing investment properties for clients and it is one of the most satisfying aspects of our job to see recommendations based on predicted improvements in the market come good with increased returns and capital values.

This being said, the investment market has been so strong since the late 1990s that only very misguided or unlucky investors have lost money on reasonable secondary or better commercial investments across all sectors in the region.

This situation will not continue indefinitely and those of us who were around in the early 1990s and active in the office sector will remember that very few deals were done at that time.

The fundamentals of buying commercial investments remain strong and while good opportunities are hard to find at present, the market is still active.

For the future the real winners will be investors who have the knowledge and skill to work investments. Alternatively they can use the skill of surveyors who will not only take on the day to day management of properties but also advise on a strategy to enhance the value of the investment.

Cragside House in Heaton is a good example of this approach. A typical multi-let office building, Cragside House was sold to a Liverpool investor about six years ago following ownership by a major national property company. Liverpool-based managing agents were appointed and did a reasonable "holding" job but did not take the building forward. When the building was sold in July 2002 to our client, a small, local property company, Gerald Eve was appointed to manage it.

Our first challenge was to re-establish the trust of the tenants. By reviewing contracts for supply of gas, heating maintenance, lift maintenance, cleaning and waste disposal ( costs paid by the tenants through the service charge ( we were instantly able to not only improve the quality of the services required, but also secure considerable savings which were passed on to the tenants. …

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