Andreas Panayiotou was the UK’s biggest buy to let property investor pre crash. He had £1.2bn (8,000 properties) of residential Property and is worth over £500m.

Inside his opulent Oxford street offices and he showed us his latest hotel developments: most producing over £5m net income per year.

He recently finished the largest house build in the UK: dubbed as “Britain’s most expensive house” on the market for £100 million.

He is a man who makes making money seem so down to earth and you’re left with the thought that his sheer force of personality has made him such a success. He is also very giving of his time and knowledge (if you can get access to him).

And Andreas Panayiotou has a very Progressive view of property investing; definitely not for the risk averse or feint hearted.

The London-born son of Greek Cypriots, his achievements are extraordinary. He owns a £40million Gulfstream G450 jet, a £12million Mangusta 130 yacht, and two Cessna Citation jets. But it’s not just about the toys for Andreas; it’s about the sport.

Andreas told us the yields before the property crash were crazy, and they may never go back to them in his lifetime. Coupled with a fear, or acute awareness, that interest rates will have to rise significantly; he sold his 8,000 flats in what looked like a genius piece of timing.  Though Andreas humbly states there was luck in his timing too.

But the yields may go back in our lifetime ;-), so his advice is buy for cash return, not growth.

He is a straight talker, a lot like our mutual acquaintance Lord Sugar. Acutely aware of all the downsides and how much people kid themselves of their real property asset value.

He was impressed by local Peterborough yields on single lets and thinks we should just keep buying them: hotels are better leverage but higher risk.

Tips from inside a Progressive Andreas Panayiotou Property meeting –

1. Buy for cash return: go for 10% – NOT capital growthit’s a bonus

2. Be realistic about your property/asset value, don’t overestimate your net worth or over borrow

3. Get proper tax planning now. The taxman is your sleeping partner and owns 50% of your assets unless you plan in advance – plan for the future now so you can reduce it

4. Buy and refurb flats in the West End – lots of room to add value. If he had the time he’d be all over it. You got the heads up here

5. Hedge loan interest: some tracker, some fixed. Self insure. Read the swap rates in the FT daily to see the cost of money (Andreas is the first person I have ever met to read the FT more than Mark Homer!)

6. If rates take longer to rise, when they do they’ll go crazy – plan for it. It may be good in the short term but in the longer term there could be more trouble to come

Andreas Panayiotou’s golden property rule –

Watch what you owe, and view investments as long term.

“It’s like playing Monopoly,” he says. “You start with a little house in a road. Then you buy a street, then you buy a hotel… then you end up in jail!” He lets out a huge laugh.

It’s time for another sneaky cigar…

Mark Homer
Mark Homer

Co-founder at Progressive Property, 600 + properties bought & sold. Full time property investor/analyst/geek & World Record Holder Author of No.1 Amazon best-selling book Uncommon Sense, Low Cost High Life and Commercial Property Conversions.