London real estate has always been a lucrative market — but it all comes down to whether one can harness it.
This is a success story of how Panda Residential leveraged its expertise and exploited years of transactional experience, turning over an overlooked opportunity into a coveted property — all completed and achieved in under eight months’ time.
The project could be broken down into four phases, from acquisition to planning, then refurbishment and leasing. Carrying through completion on schedule and making sure everything was done on par with the highest standard is a Panda Residential promise. The case study below will illustrate, step by step, how we sourced, purchased, transformed and elevated the property.
The property was first identified by Panda’s on-the-ground team who actively pursues investment opportunities through a myriad of letting platforms. The rent was undervalued given its advantageous location. We took advantage of our good rapport with agents and found out that the landlord, who had not been in the UK for 20 years, intended to sell the property. While the property was never put on the market, our investment team reacted swiftly and put in an offer. The deal was successfully through while representing our investors’ best interests. By dint of seasoned transactional experience, we were also able to tactfully negotiate with a tenant whose lease was “inside the Act” (Landlord and Tenant Act 1954) by offering a compensation fee to make sure our process of acquisition went smoothly.
Our investment team worked with the asset management team, dedicated to seeking out additional value in properties through careful, practical, and tactful planning. The property originally comprised both apartments and shops, with the basement, ground floor and first floor being the commercial units. The planning applications were made for the conversion of the first floor and the basement into two residential units. The first attempt was not a success but our local managerial staff were able to identify the problem and responded in a timely manner, eventually securing the permission without any delay in the schedule.
The reason for the rent being hugely undervalued was the poor condition of the building inside-out. Extensive and intensive renovation works including reroofing and touching-up were planned and executed to enhance the structure, safety and design. The units underwent a massive transformation; turning from an old and worn-out unpleasant look into a modern contemporary design with taste and class. Throughout the entire process, no interior designers and architects were involved as our in-house staff possessed an all-encompassing set of skills allowing us to be hands-on and direct in every step of the process.
It took us merely eight months to complete — a very short period of time only made possible with a strong local team of staff who guaranteed high efficiency in execution and seasoned transactional and managerial experience. Leveraging our strategic approach to finding additional value in the property, successfully carrying
out a substantial refurbishment program, and implementing dynamic leasing strategies alternating between long let and short let, we achieved a significant rise in rental value of 40% and an increment in valuation of 22%.
We are proud and happy to say the property is now looking absolutely good — literally and figuratively — in terms of appearance and prospects.