In a stark contrast to previous years, our manic summer has actually slowed down coming into September, which has been no bad thing. We have been able to progress and complete the instructions from summer months and are also providing early advice for a number of potential insolvencies or closedowns. We aren’t seeing any key trends, other than hospitality, in the cases that we are dealing with, and there are still a lot more problems than assets. We are always happy to take a look at a case on a speculative basis, to explore the potential value and outcomes. The office continues to be looking somewhat vacant, simply due to the increase in site visits, providing a greater insight into the businesses and assets that we are privileged to value and market.
September has included construction companies, a retail product manufacturer, a technology company, a beauty salon, a furniture retailer, bars and restaurants and a gym. These cases also included intellectual property and both freehold and leasehold property valuations. We are still seeing a lot of cases where the businesses were already in financial distress prior to the pandemic and have been kept afloat by government measurements and breathing space from creditors. The economy feels like a powder keg at the moment and we are expecting the rising interest rates and energy bills to result in further insolvencies as we approach the end of 2022.
You may have seen from our marketing emails that we are running a series of closing down sales at Lowaters Nursery in Warsash. Since the company ceased trading last month, we have been offering the stock for sale on a wholesale basis to other nurseries nationwide. Despite being inundated with interest from almost 70 nurseries, the offers received did not reflect the value in the stock. We therefore changed strategies and decided to run a few trial retail sales to generate funds to keep the stock alive and fund the insolvency process. To our surprise, we have been blown away from the response from the public. The sales are going very well and we will continue to run them in October as long as there is demand, in order to maximise realisations to creditors.
Moving on to the team, Liv has just completed her Level Three Award in Residential Letting and Property Management and is therefore now a fully qualified letting agent. We are sometimes responsible for dealing with tenanted properties and wanted to ensure we are fully compliant with the responsibilities of both landlords and agents and can provide a fully managed service for our clients. Mark has managed to get away to the Spanish office for a couple of weeks but has still been assisting with valuations, and Beth continues to climb the ropes both in the office and out on site. One of our sub-contract valuers, Jim, has been doing more and more work with us as our caseload has increased, so you may come across him in the coming weeks and months!
We are enjoying catching up with our clients at an increase of networking events, paramount to strategic growth and partnerships. We are looking forward to catching up with you all at the R3 Annual Dinner, of which Liv has helped organise as a member of the sub-committee. It’s the first ball since 2019 so we are very much looking forward to getting the region together again!
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance with any matters. We are always happy to take a look at assets for you and let you know if they are worth dealing with. The impact of Covid-19, energy price increases and interest rate rises on many disposal processes have heightened the thresholds of what is cost effective to deal with and not.
We hope you all keep safe and well, and have a busy and prosperous rest of 2022!
Liv and the Team at Proudley Associates