It is less likely you will be leaving your house in a rush at the moment, with 72 per cent of the UK workforce currently working at home for three or more days a week, but if you do and you can’t find your keys, you know how annoying it can be. Spare a thought then for Regus, part of the massive IWG property owning group.
More than £375 million was wiped off the value of the group yesterday and it will be quite the search down the back of your the sofa to find that.
“What are you looking for?”
”£375 million, I know I had it yesterday.”
”Where did you last see it?” (How annoying is it when people say that to you, as you are looking for your phone charger?)
Shares in the FTSE 250 company tumbled by 37½p, or 10.3 per cent, to 329p after it said that its annual underlying adjusted earnings would be “well below” the £133.8 million it generated last year.
IWG blamed its perilous financial situation on Government lockdowns and the spread of new variants of Covid-19, which have reduced occupancy levels. We at the NTI newsroom have searched their statement high and low but cannot find any reference to their issues being partly the result of a one-dimensional, high-risk, property buying business model. We will keep looking.
Property is not all bad news; the residential variety is enjoying an unheralded boom. For those of our readers who are spending all of their rent money on, well rent, awaiting the inevitable bust in house prices we urge you to review your opinions. House prices rose last month at their fastest pace in seven years, buyers responding to the extension of stamp duty relief. If you want to pencil in a time when residential house prices start to fall, we recommend a date ten years after Norfolk becomes submerged under Arctic water.
Property prices climbed by 9.5 per cent in the year to May, according to the Halifax house price index. This was the biggest annual increase since June 2014. The average price of a home in Britain is now at £261,743. If that amount is greater than 10 per cent of your next expected bonus, we suggest you look more closely at early-doors care facilities for your parents.
A happy alternative would be to just forget living anywhere and just go out and spend. If you do, you won’t be alone; consumer spending rose by 7.6 per cent in May compared with the same month in 2019, according to Barclaycard, marking the highest growth recorded by its survey since the start of the pandemic. Spending on essential and non-essentials increased as people started socialising again with family and friends.
Enjoy the sunshine.