Troubador Planet Property

Released: 01/12/2013

ISBN: 9781783061358

Format: Hardback

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Planet Property


Planet Property details the inner workings of the UK commercial property, residential development and rental markets. This first major book on the topic for 20 years maps these sectors between 1997 and 2012, during the ten-year boom, the 2008/9 financial crash and its protracted aftermath. Developers and investors made debt-fuelled fortunes during Tony Blair’s decade as Prime Minister, during which prices nearly doubled. The 2008 banking crisis led to the sharpest crash in 80 years, under Gordon Brown’s tenure, when prices halved. The biggest debt clear-up in history began under David Cameron.

Planet Property is the first full guide to the £400 billion sector. The fast-paced book will appeal to insiders as well as outsiders seeking insight. Students in pursuit of knowledge have dedicated chapters explaining the world of property, its history, inhabitants – and how and why so much money can be made and lost. The book provides a plain-English explanation of how Planet Property spins. Author and journalist Peter Bill explains the roles and relationships between those who fund, develop, own, trade, broker, manage and provide professional and legal advice on offices, shops, industrial property as well as new-build homes.

Peter’s 11-year editorship of property bible Estates Gazette and his City pages column in the London Evening Standard provided access to leading politicians, bankers, investors, agents and the foremost developers of the era. Many major figures have given interviews for Planet Property. This informed and lively tale is filled with insights and sparkles with anecdotes Peter has gathered during his years of high-level access. The 250-page volume ranges wider than the out-of-print standard works: Oliver Marriott’s The Property Boom and Alastair Ross Goobey’s Bricks and Mortals.

The Independent

The Jewish Chronicle

For anyone who worked through that period Planet Property will be both a reminder of the good and bad times, coupled with a clear explanation of what actually did go wrong. For the young it will provide them with an understanding of a momentous period in the history of the industry, and perhaps lessons for the future.

by Richard Lay, past president, RICS

Planet Property, the eagerly anticipated exposé of the UK property industry from 1997 to 2012 by former Estates Gazette editor Peter Bill, lives up to expectations. A well-honed journalistic talent, together with a ringside seat from which to observe the inhabitants of Planet Property at close range over a key period for real estate, make for an incredibly informative and entertaining read. The experience is enhanced by the author’s irrepressible humour laced with a dose of irreverence. This volume – I read it in one sitting as I couldn’t put it down – should most definitely be prescribed reading for anyone involved in UK real estate.

Prescient Leaders
The book is a cracking good read. Even more so when you know some of the characters involved. Interspersed with the narrative are many of Peter Bill’s Estates Gazette leaders which, seen in context and especially with the advantage of hindsight, are in many cases particularly prescient and give a real insight into sentiment in the sector at the time. Peter charts the build-up to the biggest property crash in history

Insights and information
Planet Property contains a wealth of insights and information for real estate aficionados including an invaluable breakdown by Tony Key of Cass Business School of the UK’s £385 billion commercial property. One chapter is devoted to ‘politics, planning and taxes’ and gives a most illuminating overview of the machinations of government. It makes you wonder how anything actually happens. There is so much more packed into Planet Property so get your copy and start reading.

Full review :

by Susan Freeman, Real estate partner, Mishcon de Reya

"Not only compulsory reading now, but also part of the study curriculum for real estate students to come over the next few decades"

by Mike Strong, Executive Chairman, EMEA, CBRE

Peter Bill

Peter Bill writes a column Property Week and formerly for Estates Gazette, the weekly bible of the property sector, which he edited for 11 years up to 2009. He also wrote a weekly column for the London Evening Standard City pages on real estate between 2008 and 2015 Peter spent 21 years in the construction industry as a surveyor. He worked for Wimpey for 11 years and regional house builder in the West Country and Wales for three years.

He became a journalist in 1983, joining Contract Journal as a reporter. In 1985 Peter joined Building magazine, where he rose to become editor in 1990. Peter left Building in 1996 to work at Flemings, the merchant bank. He returned to journalism in 1997 to edit Estates Gazette, from where he retired in February 2009.

Peter has won eight awards for his writing, including the Periodical Publishers Association business writer of the year prize, the industry Oscar. He has edited several publications for the Smith Institute think tank, including three on housing supply and one on climate change called The Green Shift. In 2014 Troubador published his first book, Planet Property on the commercial real estate. Broken Homes, published in October 2020, is also by Troubador.

Peter Bill
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