This week we speak to Richard Bourne, Martin’s Properties Managing Director on going the extra (air) mile to secure the best properties, in his drive to expand and diversify Martin’s Properties portfolio.
What are your ambitions for Martin’s Properties Portfolio?
Our current assets include a mix of commercial, retail, residential, office, leisure and mixed-use properties across London and the South of England. We are looking to grow the business over the next 7 years towards £550m of net assets and are aiming to diversify both geographically and across different sectors. The focus going forward will be on London fringes and M25 towns in the office, leisure, industrial, PRS and hotel sectors.
What type of opportunities are you looking for?
We are looking for investment, asset management and development opportunities in locations with low available supply and good demand, ideally with an underlying value for alternative use.
What are the main drivers for searching for properties outside of London?
The wider availability of stock outside of London represents a different demographic with a greater variety and a diverse mix of occupiers across many sectors. With connectivity and infrastructure improvements taking place across much of Southern England, some locations are offering stronger rental growth prospects than their Central London counterparts, this coupled with higher yields represents an attractive investment.
What is your criteria for an acquisition?
1. Macro location – strong demographic and connectivity
2. Micro location – good amenity and leisure offer nearby
3. Occupational Market – strong demand/take up and low supply/competition
Where are your fly by searches taking place at the moment?
Across Southern England in areas within a 2 hour drive of London. Recent areas of focus have been: Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Cheltenham, Windsor, Guildford, Croydon, Woking.
What are you hoping to spot?
Road and rail links, a tight CBD or low supply of land for development but also crane activity. It’s amazing what you can see from the air!
Finally what are the similarities between flying a plane and managing Martin’s Properties?
In both cases you cannot control the external conditions, sometimes it’s smooth and sometimes it’s bumpy, it is important to keep a level head and surround yourself with a great team. And sometimes not be afraid to fly by the seat of the pants!