Imperial Corporate Capital PLC (ICC) is a residential property developer with a mass of sector experience and a pipeline of developments that is primed to benefit from the government’s push for new housing.
Downing Street’s planned changes to relax UK planning permission rules are expected to slash a significant amount of time out of the development period for the company’s other properties in future too.
Furthermore, the residential property sector is going through what has been called a “mini boom” by analysts after the first lockdown was lifted to reveal a stream of pent-up demand.
Following the government’s planning changes, communications director David Kass, expects things to play into ICC’s hands thanks to the company’s shrewd management team.
“Previously we were looking for brownfield land, but everyone has become aware of this now, so what we are focusing on is smaller sites – things we can get into and out of within a year.
“We are looking to scale up in terms of volume – so instead of doing one GBP10mln project we will do ten GBP1mln projects.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, developers that would normally buy larger sites from ICC do not have the liquidity for large commercial purchases, which has necessitated the refocus on family homes.
The company anticipates benefits to be twofold.
“Instead of relying purely on big sales, we are moving towards multiple smaller sales, as we know that there is always an ongoing domestic market requirement in the UK so we are not so reliant on international buyers,” says Kass.
“It seems to be the general consensus that the deep discounts will happen at the end of this year and early 2021.”
“The government has done well to support business and keep those afloat that would not have been able to survive up until now. I think there are developers that are over-leveraged and would not be able to fund their companies if it was not for the furlough and emergency loan schemes allowing them stay afloat without having to sell any assets – but these schemes are coming to an end in the next couple of months.
“What they will be forced to do is sell some of their assets by way of quick sales, heavily discounted, to drop their loan-to-value ratios. Developers will need to find cash quickly.
“Many of our management team have been through this precise process previously in 2008 and 2009 and are fully expecting a similar scenario going forward.”
Based on this experience, ICC is confident it has the wherewithal to thrive whatever 2021 throws at us.