MoneyWeek issue 391 cover

Fixing the NHS

4 July 2008 / Issue 391

Making money from healthcare... PLUS:

• Can wind power solve Britain's energy woes?

• The used-car salesman who made £174m

• How to profit from the global water shortage

Excerpt

The last property optimists

There isn’t much left, anyone sensible would say, that is immune from the housing crash and a consequent economic slowdown. Not the housebuilders, not Marks & Spencer, not central London houses, not the stockmarket and not car sales. 

But there’s always a company out there that really thinks it is different. This time round it is the Candy brothers, Nick and Christian, self-styled property providers to the super-rich. The pair have, says the FT, spent around £1.5bn buying up land in London’s top postcodes in the last three years (ie, at the height of a whopping great bubble) and making grand plans to develop it into luxury housing complete with endless private lifts, entry-level eye scanners, bullet-proof everything and cinematic walls.

This, say the brothers, is a sector of the market that won’t ever go down: the people operating in it are too rich to care about mortgages or credit crunches. So, Nick told the FT, in an exact echo of the mutterings of the ordinary housing bulls as their market started to collapse around them, prices in his market should “at worst” be flat for a bit. 

This is the voice of someone who hasn’t seen many cycles come and go.

Read the full editor’s letter here: The last property optimists