It will be interesting to watch what effect the slump in the housing market will have on the pubs-for-sale trade.
For a decade, high property prices have had developers rubbing their hands with glee at pubs coming on the market, and this is one of the factors killing our pubs.
If the credit crunch is clipping the wings of developers, will we see fewer pubs turning into flats and houses? Let's wait and see.
The only down side to this is the value of the pub is often the only thing that can provide the owner with a pension. His profits are often not sufficient to live on let alone put anything away as a nest egg.
Slump in property prices will also result in reduced equity in pubs.
Dave's point is valid for those who own the freehold interest in their property (or an incredibly long lease).
But for those us who are lessees (or indeed tenants) - which accounts for most publicans in the non-managed sector - the value of the underlying property isn't really a factor. When you assign a lease, if you get a big premium from the assignee my understanding is that it's reflective of goodwill in the business, not the value of a lease with so many years left to run.
So I think Jeff has a point. It's one I've been thinking about for a while. Of course it also effects the way pubcos - and potential buyers of pubcos - view their businesses. If the value of the underlying property portfolio falls, the operating side becomes so much more important.
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