Adam Simmons

An interview with Adam Simmons: the UK real estate market is 'massively falling behind to meet with local demand'



In an interview with Development Finance Today, Adam Simmons, co-CEO at Platinum Rise Capital Partners, discusses the UK real estate market’s popularity with overseas investors, the undersupply of UK residential housing and how he ended up co-founding a development business in Hong Kong.

You suggested that UK modular housing was a “big opportunity” for Platinum Rise Capital Partners. Does this apply to other areas of the UK development sector? 

The student housing sector, micro apartments, holiday homes and also social housing are well suited for modular in particular.

As a company operating outside of the UK, what encourages you to be involved in the UK development market? 

Other than being from the UK myself, the UK market is still very popular for overseas investors for a number of reasons: a solid government, one of the best education systems in the world, and a global financial hub that provides great opportunities for existing and new businesses to name but a few. The UK real estate market, however, is massively falling behind to meet with local demand, and the gap only continues to grow, which provides an obvious place for investors to park their capital on a local and international level.

How do you feel the UK real estate sector is currently operating? 

There are different sectors within the UK market (for example, residential, commercial, health care, hotel and student housing), some of which perform better than others. The important thing to note is that each sector has its cycles. So, being able to recognise these cycles, and knowing when is a good time to buy or sell, will determine one’s outlook on how that particular market is operating and can benefit you the most. For us, roughly 70% of what we target is residential, which is massively undersupplied and very popular with international investors. The uncertainty around Brexit has caused the pound to depreciate, thus making the UK market more attractive to overseas investors. So for us, although the UK residential market is slow, we are doing more business now than ever due to these fundamentals. 

How did you get into the industry? 

My father was a painter and decorator, so I have always been on building sites since I was able to pick up a paint brush. This soon evolved into a love for the building industry. Once I graduated with a BSc in architectural technology, I was eager to get back on to the building sites to see how the industry came together from design and construction to financial structuring and capital raising. I soon found myself in Hong Kong, where I worked for a well-known financial advisory firm and a real estate investment company to get a better understanding of how the world of finance worked, before I decided to go out on my own. Once we got started, we focused on delivering solid returns for a small group of investors through private lending, then we grew from there every year. The rest is history.

If you didn’t work in development finance, what would you be doing? 

As I have always had a creative eye for things, I have always wondered how well I would have done in the film industry. My other passion, and where I can certainly apply my creative values, is building/helping start-up businesses get off the ground. So the venture capital space will always be something that excites me. I think, if you have a good idea and the right team of people around you, it’s a winning formula for anything.


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