Flat 127, ‘Del Boy’ Trotter’s home in Nelson Mandela House, Peckham SE15, a former council block, since transferred to Peckham Housing Association.
Del: ‘Ere Rodney, it says in The Telegraph that properties around ‘ere are going for £553,894, according to Savills. They say once-unfashionable areas are catching up with central London. I knew Peckham would finally come up in the world!
Rodney: No thanks to you! But it just shows we’re in the wrong business. We should give up flogging stuff that’s fallen off the back of a lorry and…
Del: …start flogging ‘ouses! Rodders, I’m a genius. Let’s change from Trotters Independent Traders to… Trotter Estates! We can tart up the market stall. It’ll be London’s first al fresco estate agent. We’ll paint the van green, like whatstheirnames. We’ll be selling homes before you can say ‘luvverly jubberly’.
Rodney: You dipstick, Del! You’ve got to have swish offices these days. And I don’t think anyone will want to jump in the back of a clapped-out Reliant Regal, even if it had an MOT. And it’s getting competitive out there. Foxtons says it’s expanding into outer London. In any case, we’re not going get rich quick charging 2% with all these guys breathing down our necks.
Del: Alright, forget flogging them, we can build them. A 20% margin on ‘arf a bar is much tastier!
Rodney: Half a bar? And the rest! It says on Rightmove that new homes near the station are going for almost a bar and a half.
Del: Blimey! I want a piece of that. Let’s bid the council for the market site - it’s just around the corner from the station. We could call it Peckham Village, spelled the French way. Propah class.
Rodney: So where will we get the capital? We’re broke since you ‘invested’ the two grand Uncle Albert left us on Knackers Yard at Cheltenham.
Del: ‘Ee was a dead cert according to Boycie. Anyway, ain’t you ‘eard of crowdfunding?
Rodney: What crowd? The regulars at the Nag’s Head? They can’t raise the price of a round.
Del: You plonker. Crowdfunding’s the future of property! Blokes on the internet put up cheap loans. No questions asked. Well, not many.
Rodney: With your record?
Del: Well… what about that Right to Buy thingy the government is offering? The length of time I’ve lived in this place means I can get a discount of more than a hundred grand. I can get one of those cheap 95% Help to Buy loans the government is trying to throw at people, flog this place, buy the market, move in with you and Cassandra…
Del: … and we can run our empire from there.
Rodney: Sure you’ve read the small print? Anyhow, a hundred grand won’t get you far. Even if the council is hard up, ‘cos the government is going to charge them for council houses they can’t sell, to pay housing associations for the discounts they’re offering us…
Del: It’s just business, Rodney. And sod the small print. “If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big,” as Donald Trump said. What about all of us in Mandela House teaming up and buying the whole place. Spruce it up a bit, build some extra floors for penthouses, dig out a basement for car parking and a swimming pool…
Rodney: You ever heard of structural engineering?
Del: … and gold taps throughout. I know someone who could supply them, by the way. We’d, of course, take a hefty management fee, bruv.
Then we could sell it through Savills in Hong Kong, Singapore and London. I can see it now, our own glossy brochures in the FT… Trotter Towers - “a unique investment opportunity in the heart of south London’s best-kept secret”…
Rodney: With you in charge, it’ll stay that way. I’ve heard enough - it sounds like all your other hair-brained schemes. Count me out, you plonker!
Del: You’re fired!
Alastair Stewart is building and property analyst at Progressive Equity Research