The King and Queen of Buy to Let are selling up. Fergus and Judith Wilson have put up their 700 properties for sale, hoping to pull out about £70 million, once they have paid off the loans used to accumulate their little property empire.
The former comprehensive school teachers had built up their massive portfolio during the bubble years, when credit was easy and house prices were inflating. However, since property prices have crashed, the couple have seen their net worth fall by more than half; such is the magic of leverage.
However, I wonder what the Wilsons will do with their cash once they have offloaded their tenants. Will they put it in a bank and watch it slowing whittle away once quantitative easing feeds through into higher inflation? Goverment bonds might be another money losing alternative. Equities? Off shore, on shore?
Whatever the decision, the Wilsons don't seem to be all that confident that house prices will continue to go up. If they did, they wouldn't be selling up.