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FatFreddy • 7 years ago

Bloated and over-rated.

And that's just the portfolio...

Tim • 7 years ago

Too big to fall...

...he couldn't get up again

notachance • 7 years ago

Fergus has one major problem other than trying to sell and that`s the fact most of his mortgages are on the tax payers books i.e UKAR which has a finite time to wind down their mortgage book http://www.ukar.co.uk/media...
But Fergus ain`t going to "give them away" so at some point he will have no choice as his creditors will make the desision for him that time is getting closer buy the day

John Spindler • 7 years ago

That may or may not be the case, i don't know how you know this...even so what's to stop him re-mortgaging with other lenders ?

John Spindler • 7 years ago

Yup he's been selling since 2009 just looked it up....they can;t sell and if they don't have an efficient vehicle controlling the properties...he'll get no corporate takers.....could be a total mess..

ahso • 7 years ago


John Spindler • 7 years ago

I wonder how difficult it would actually be within a year or 2 for a company that was hell bent on owning 900 properties to accumulate them ?

One things for sure buying 900 properties en masse and actually determining a price sounds pretty tricky to me...and remember selling them doesn't seem that easy...i'm not surprised no Pension Funds have taken them up...they are not a liquid asset...and it's quite possbile in a overvalued market price falls could wipe out half your stake...i really cannot see how much more capital appreciation is possible from here...maybe all those "eager" buyers of this portfolio think the same...

John Spindler • 7 years ago

I don't think many of us are fooled by Fergus and his sidekick...this portfolio has been touted for sale for some time...why has it not sold ?...because if he has even had any offers they are not in the range he values the portfolio...this smacks of an attempt to stir up a bidding war to get over the odds....it's likely he feels pig sick at the capital gains element that must be deducted hence if he can offload at a premium that pretty much offsets what he will have to pay the revenue....he's holding out for top dollar..and if other commentors are right that he's overvaluing the portfolio as they are likely to have better local knowledge on prices...it makes sense he's using smoke and mirrors to get a bid war going...it;s not unusual that an organisation will overpay if they judge the income to be worth it...but it's not everybodys cup of tea as there is a lot of administration and costs to maintain the assets...and as Mitch Feierstein said...property is not an asset class...it's an asset but not an asset class because it lacks liquidity i.e.you can;t always flog it quickly at the right price ...900 houses 900 times more illiquid as old Fergus is finding...so he's just talking the talk...

If the plan on flogging the portfolio was going to plan it would have sold already...these 2 strike me as wanting their cake and eat it...seems he's had enough of running this portfolio but he's not prepared to discount..

majestic whine • 7 years ago

They've definitely eaten it.

royalgreenjacket • 7 years ago

good luck, worked hard and employed people during upgrades of homes

Tim • 7 years ago

Do you think if people owned those homes rather than renting them from that fat parasite, that they would never have paid for upkeep, decoration, even extensions? (Can't do that with a rental)

brit1664 • 7 years ago

£275,000 each for his 2 bed houses when similar properties are on sale between £130-£170k in same area. Why would an investor want to pay almost double from a distressed seller, the maths don't add up. Normally if you buy in bulk you get a big discount not pay more.

The only reason an investor would overpay at £250 million is if they are stupid or money laundering.

Seaview77 • 7 years ago

They seem to have been selling now for over 2 years.

Ariel Adam • 7 years ago

Rentier Capitalism at it's finest. No wonder the wealth gap is rising massively. People have no choice but to rent from the likes of these parasites due to our rentier planning rules and tax system. The whole lot needs rewriting. I can build a respectable home for under £50k, on £1k worth of arable land, but our system of driving land rents into private hands means I have to pay £175k for an existing home instead.

Rents are killing our economy, but nobody seems to care.

John Spindler • 7 years ago

This country is already up the creek, no paddle, leaky boat and the rapids lie ahead...

If the lack of an oar is the useless politicians, the holes in the boat , the massive debt UK PLc has....we are pretty unprepared for the choppy ride when the next event(that nobody saw coming) arrives...

Seaview77 • 7 years ago

so why don't you build then.

Ariel Adam • 7 years ago

Why don't you read?

JohnnySW18 • 7 years ago

Very poor journalism but a great advert for the Wilsons! A quick check on Rightmove would have shown dozens of the properties of the sort the Wilsons own (2-3 bed, nearly all in Ashford, built in last 30 years) being advertised for between 150k and 200k. They rent for around £700pm (2-Bed) to £900pm. So that would be a notional value of around 160m with a gross yield of around 5% per annum, which would be closer to 2.5% net, after the usual landlord expenses and voids etc. are factored in. Let me join the queue! The real story here is that the Wilsons only survived the crash by one of their major creditors lowering their interest-only loan rate to close to zero, and are now being forced to sell because Mortgage Express (who they have 50m of loans with) are winding their book down and putting those who remain (or can not go elsewhere) on regular rates, which would sink the Wilsons.

Dave Dann • 7 years ago

If they offered you a job, would you take it? I found your comment much more informative than the article.

ahso • 7 years ago

First of all, why will the Wilson's not reveal how many houses they own? I read articles suggesting that they have between 700 and 1,000. My bet is to the lower of this range - perhaps 800. The word is is that there is no single holding company for the properties, but it is a mess of individually owned properties in the name of the Wilsons and their daughter as well as some companies. A nightmare for any buyer.

He suggests that each property is worth >£250k. This is a big for a 2-bed house (the Wilsons' favourite type of property) in that part of Kent. A look on Rightmove at all the many properties for sale in Maidstone shows that two thirds are for sale for less that £200,000 and only a handful at £250,000. In fact, just under half the 3-bed properties go for less than £250,000. The average price of £275,000 to £300,000 is little more than fantasy.

So I estimate, the Wilsons have about 800 properties worth about £180,000, each. This works out at an impressive £144 million, although not as impressive as £250 million.

Perhaps we should also assume a mortgage of 80% on each property, since the business model was built on a 5% deposit and property prices in the area are not that much higher than the bubble years when most properties were acquired.

That leaves £21.6m. The government will presumably take 40% of that, leaving a very handsome £13m, although somewhat shy of the £100m suggested above.

How are the Pringles, smashers78?

John Spindler • 7 years ago

The word is is that there is no single holding company for the
properties, but it is a mess of individually owned properties in the
name of the Wilsons and their daughter as well as some companies. A
nightmare for any buyer.

Id say that makes the portfolio unsaleable to an institution and if they are mortgaged to the hilt as per your figures...it;s likely they'll never even realise 13m....maybe the whole caboodle has become a millstone around their necks?

ahso • 7 years ago

I also read that Fergus Wilson valued his property portfolio using Rightmove (that man is very smart - no need to waste money on valuers when you have the internet).

Why are our results so different? Perhaps his search of Maidstone property is done with the "sort by highest price" option selected and the first price was went into the Wilson property algorithm.

John Spindler • 7 years ago

and nobody is going to value each individual property for free...the estate agents will get fed up after a while and stop turning up if they don't get the contract..

St_John_Smithe • 7 years ago

What a barstard.

"Fergus Wilson, the buy-to-let baron with nearly 1,000 homes who has become the most controversial landlord in Britain in a generation, reckons he is out of pocket by £800,000 because housing benefit claimants have failed to pay the rent.

Wilson and his wife, Judith, have provoked fury since he told the Guardian earlier this week that he had sent eviction notices to 200 tenants who were on welfare. In the future, he said, he would not accept applications from people claiming housing benefit (HB), preferring migrants from eastern Europe instead.Wilson further inflamed public opinion after telling Channel 4 News "I feel sorry for battered wives who have come to us because we are very much consigning them to go back to their husbands to be beaten up again – but the situation is it cannot go on."


Look how much money he has made out of housing benefit and he still complains.

Apologies for Guardian link, but even so, this man deserves to go to hell.

gp1 • 7 years ago

The taxable gain will be the difference between the total buying and selling price, subject to various adjustments, and will not be related in any way to the outstanding mortgage, or the equity after the outstanding mortgage is deducted.

eastman • 7 years ago

The same thought had occured to me when I read that last paragraph - so the tax bill would be twice the size that the article says. I can't help but think, based on this, and the various comments above, that this article hasn't been particularly well researched.

chaswarnertoo • 7 years ago

Getting out before the crash.

John Spindler • 7 years ago

not sure they can extricate themselves by the sounds of it...but yes i think that yes they want out..

anna falactic • 7 years ago

Good luck to them.

inhope • 7 years ago

Starting from today could someone do the same thing? The answer is NO.

This is a specular example of debt fuelled growth. Debt levels are so high these days that it is unreasonable to suggest that the same level of money expansion can happen during the next 30 years.

Also, Labour leader, Ed Miliband has announced that more house building is a top priority. This will devalue large scale property investments, these investments are generally valued across a longer time frame.

This looks like they are selling to bank their profits. I would do the same if I were in their position!

Tim • 7 years ago

Ed still hasn't actually stated "We will build the necessary 200,000 homes, per year, for x years"

Frankly, until bricks hit foundation, even that would just be the type of word noise at which they excel.

Seaview77 • 7 years ago

Money printing = devalued £'s = higher house prices. Its worked for the last 50 years.

mancunius • 7 years ago

They 'need to retire' so they're selling their property and giving up their retirement income in exchange for...what? a taxable lump sum? an annuity??
Something not quite right here. Maybe they're over-leveraged and the bank manager has come calling?

anna falactic • 7 years ago

"they 'need to retire' so they're selling their property and giving up
their retirement income in exchange for...what? a taxable lump sum? an

Less hassle probably.

notachance • 7 years ago

UKAR are going to have the lot and you know it tick tock goes the clock

Fegie was bailed out by the taxpayer with 0.5% Interest rates in 2009 and has been on the verge of selling ever since http://www.propertydrum.com...

UKAR will have the lot chap

Kat247 • 7 years ago

Er, so that's 900-1000 affordable homes BUILT SPECIFICALLY TO HELP FIRST TIME BUYERS get on the property ladder? Nice way to abuse the system. Completely agree we need buy-to-let in moderation, but this really takes the pi**. Hope they give something back to those who can STILL not afford to buy a first home.

etonboater • 7 years ago

Oh if only the greedy bas***** hold onto the properties too long and they go belly-up!!

hillbilly • 7 years ago

I;m an ex teacher. I'm also working bloody hard to get a business off the ground.

Hats off to these people winning in the habitat.

However, they are fuc ing vermin.

ladeeda • 7 years ago

Hot doggity dog! If Karma exists, Fergus will soon be bankrupt, relying on benefits, begging a rentier to condescend and allow him to rent a house & without enough money in his pocket to buy a fish supper.

CC • 7 years ago

So it will be off to Jersey or Isle of Man for you two, no IHT, however if UKIP have
their way and I hope they do they plan to scrap IHT.
There are plenty of flights into London Docklands where you limo will whisk
you off for the short journey into Kent to see friends and relatives though I suspect
they will come to see you in your home in the islands, good luck, you took the risk.

EdmundF • 7 years ago

They remind me of people who buy 10,000 tins of baked beans because they've found some loophole in a promotion enabling them to get a million air-miles. That's harmless enough, but when they and their imitators are blighting millions of peoples lives and the system they're exploiting is supposed to be heavily regulated it's no laughing matter. By monopolising all the mortgage-lending capacity they are reducing housing stock available for purchase and driving up prices.

chur • 7 years ago

leaving them with a fortune in the bank of about £100m...
.... why do I smile at the 40 odd million quid death duties that are upcoming for this elderly couple ....

ahso • 7 years ago

They do not have a £100m fortune. After capital gains tax, they probably only have £13m.

DucknDive • 7 years ago

Its called envy

TruthRealityFact • 7 years ago

And pretty obvious why.....how many industries and famous British companies have they taken over between them, closing down factories and wiping out thousands of jobs. Two proverbial fingers up to the Americans especially I say in this regard....

Uncle Davey • 7 years ago

They have the chance to do a lot for the poor, in this situation, but I saw one documentary where he was not being very kind, for instance chucking out tenants if they had to go on housing benefits even if they were not behind on the rent. I understand he is not running a charity and that he owns his wealth and therefore has the right to do what he likes, but still, bloody norah.

fla56 • 7 years ago

Uncle Davey he certainly does not own his wealth!
he is massively leveraged with the taxpayer subsidising his borrowing
and for good measure there is huge additional subsidy to prop up his rents via housing benefit to the wider market

hillbilly • 7 years ago

The man is a money grubbing c nt.

smashers78 • 7 years ago

Think I'll sit back, relax and get the Pringles out whilst I enjoy reading this comments section all afternoon.

Miletarget • 7 years ago

Stopping yourself eating all the Pringles is a problem...