Support Diversification Through Use of Real Estate Assets

Napthens - June 17th 2020

In these uncertain times it is increasingly necessary to think differently about how to spread business risk. The Coronavirus outbreak has only served to exacerbate the uneasiness companies and organisations face through the UK’s exit from Europe, and markets have become more volatile as each day passes, as we can only guess when and how normal life will resume.

Whilst the real estate landscape is certainly one of those affected by the uncertainties, diversification can be achieved at low risk through working closely with those in the know. That’s where our FarmFuture service comes in.

Take the agricultural sector for example, where beef and lamb prices have fallen by over 30% in recent weeks (that was on top of a weakening market due to Brexit).   The farming community has had to look elsewhere for income and the industry has seen major change in the last two years alone as farms diversify further into tourism, energy and property markets.

Many landowners have often been disappointed by the reduced price offers on land sold on options once planning permission has been obtained, particularly after being ‘promised’ a life changing amount of money for their land - only for it to be reduced due to ‘abnormal costs’. And many planning permissions for housing have been rendered unsaleable due to the wrong planning consent being obtained. Examples of such misfortune exist across the region.

As advisers to many rural businesses, Napthens regularly works with specialist real estate advisory firms to assist our clients with extracting further income and value from their land and property assets. The relationships work to provide a holistic and comprehensive advisory service, where real estate is utilised either to provide improvements in capital or revenue streams, or to support changes in business activities.

Andy Ross from Gener8 Group comments: “We have seen many land-owners miss opportunities to extract or crystallise value from their real estate just through lack of pragmatic advice.  The relationship we have with Napthens gives us the chance to ensure clients don’t miss a trick when it comes to creating value.”

Jamie Allison, Partner & Head of Real Estate at Napthens acknowledges the relationship. “We are keen to see our clients benefit from the combined expertise of our real estate team, and the wealth of experience and knowledge that Andy and his team brings.  They have assisted a number of our land-owning clients and obtained excellent results through clever strategic thinking and the right tactical advice. This is something the other firms we work with bring to the table too.”

Working regularly with firms such as Gener8, Armistead Barnett, P Wilson & Co, Eckersley, SHP Valuers and Edwin Thompson creates great relationships from which our clients can benefit.

As part of Napthens FarmFuture package, we provide a property audit, which if required, can include a free development appraisal from one of the above agents or others in the region with whom we have relationships.  This is an opportunity for you to get professional advice with a desktop evaluation of your land and development value.

If you are an NFU member and qualify for the NFU Legal Healthcheck offering, the property audit at the moment can be heavily subsidised depending on the size of your portfolio, so there really is no better time to proceed with this.

If you would like to understand more please get in touch with a member of our Rural team and we will assist.