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60 second interview: Stuart Johnson

September 2, 2011Article by Ray Withers

Stuart Johnson

In the first of a new series, I speak to Stuart Johnson, Property Frontiers’ Head of Business Development about the current state of the market, his predictions for the rest of the year and where he would invest £100,000.

What does your role involve?

Primarily I manage a team who research the property investment market and I then source new property investments for the company from deal structure and negotiation through to due diligence and working with our excellent marketing team to launch it. I am also responsible for Property Frontiers’ new London office and London Sales Team.

How do you think the property market has fared so far in 2011?

In the UK the residential market has encountered the expected cooling but other UK property asset classes such Student Accommodation, Small commercial offices and hotel rooms are having a good year. Overall the overseas property investment market has had a very varied year. The US has been improving but only in certain location with central Florida still a great buyers market and now Las Vegas looks like it has reached the bottom and turned the corner.

Some east coast cities have weathered the downturn well and had a good 2011. Europe isn’t doing too well, southern Europe in particular is having a terrible time generally and I suggest only brave and experienced investors look at the many below market value deals. European cities such as London, Paris, Berlin and Munich are doing well for investors but the winner this year has to be Istanbul.

Of the Property Frontiers’ products, which has been your favourite and why?

A 2 bedroom apartment in Kensington Residence in Istanbul is currently my favourite because is already complete and returns from the rentals are immediate. These are also some of the best value 2 bedroom apartments in the Istanbul suburb of Beylikduzu.

Where is your hot tip, a market to watch?

US cities with demand for student accommodation are certainly on our radar, some offer the ideal combination of great yields and long term capital growth.

Where would you avoid?

Portugal, Italy and Detroit.

If you had £100,000 where would you invest?

I’d put deposits on a two, 2 bedroom buy to let apartment in Kensington Residence in Istanbul (approx. £35,000 cash required each) and the remaining £30,000 would be invested into a Bond in our Bamboo project.

Do you agree with Stuart? Post your comments or queries below, we’d love to hear from you!


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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