* This is a contributed article. The IBTimes news staff was not involved in the creation of this article and this content does not necessarily represent the views of IBTimes. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here are our T&C. For licensing please click here.

The Guardian reports that UK house price growth is currently the slowest since the 2008 financial crisis, largely due to the impact of higher interest rates on the housing market, indicating a state of flux in the UK housing market. Yet, this visionary entrepreneur's story captures a different scenario altogether.

At just 32 years old, James Gerrard, a Serial Entrepreneur and a Social Impact Investor, and one of the youngest to win a Property Week Award, has achieved what many seasoned investors would consider a lifetime of success. With a staggering portfolio of 52 properties acquired in merely 16 months, Gerrard's story is nothing short of extraordinary. The properties were acquired at a marked-down range to bank valuation of 23-41% discount, indicating shrewd investment decisions. James achieved a net running yield of 22% on cash invested from net rental income, showcasing the profitability of his portfolio. But what led him down this path, and what can aspiring investors learn from his journey?

The Guardian reports that UK house price growth is currently
The Guardian reports that UK house price growth is currently the slowest since the 2008 financial crisis Pixabay

James' journey into real estate investing began with the traditional development strategy of buying, constructing, and selling properties, building a pipeline of 90 million pounds gross development value. He soon realised that the effects of the macroeconomic environment which were entirely out of any developer's control, and had too much of an influence on the profitability of short term development transactions.

He became determined to find a more low-risk strategy that continued to offer the same high returns as the riskier strategies did; ultimately a wealth preservation strategy, with wealth creation results. He pivoted his focus to high-yielding, long term investments. These deals, which offered a steady stream of income from a single investment, for life, provided James with the stability he sought in an increasingly unpredictable market.

A chance encounter with a billionaire mentor further solidified James' commitment to long-term investing. Rather than buying, constructing, and selling, the mentor's advice was to never sell. This resonated deeply with Gerrard, reshaping his approach to building wealth through real estate. Armed with this newfound perspective, he set his sights on maximising this new strategy during a period of the market that would become a once in a generation opportunity.

The catalyst for James' unprecedented success came in the form of Liz Truss' Mini Budget. This legislative action triggered a sharp increase in borrowing rates, marking the first significant opportunity to acquire discounted assets since the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Recognizing the potential for massive returns, Gerrard wasted no time in capitalizing on the fear in the market.

Realising that the market conditions were more similar to the historical 1989-1991 gradual market decline, rather than the 07-08 crash, this serial entrepreneur predicted that asset prices will continue to fall over a prolonged period of time, but sufficient capital would remain in the market to allow the continued buying discounted assets.

According to Gerrard's investigation, which covered information from various sources, he and his team discovered that the last quarter of 2023 saw a 10% increase in light owner-occupier mortgage arrears, and 33% in the Buy-To-Let sector. Despite these indications of the market declining, Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNW) accounted for 68% of all commercial property purchases in London last year, rather than institutional investors. "What people with the wealth know is that now is the time to buy," adds Gerrard. He warns that this window of opportunity will begin to close over the next 12 to 18 months. Gerrard says, "Once closed, it is unlikely to reappear for the next 10 to 15 years, looking at historical real estate cycles."

Central to this entrepreneur's investment strategy is the concept of leveraging declining asset prices to secure long-term gains. By purchasing properties at a discount range compared to their bank valuation, James has achieved an impressive net running yield on his invested capital. Through timely refinancing, he has effectively maximized his returns while minimizing risk.

Typically, the perception is that capital is worth its weight in gold in the real estate world. But, James assures that it is not necessary to have large capital reserves before purchasing an asset; a good deal always attracts the capital.

But Gerrard's success extends beyond financial gain. He espouses a philosophy of freedom through real estate investing, emphasizing the "freedom of geography" and "freedom of time" through passive income. According to Gerrard, the former will increasingly become a necessity.

Gerrard states, "We are human beings, not human doings." According to him, individuals should not be afraid to jump into the housing market or put down a deposit due to high interest rates. He believes that buying into depreciating asset prices now will provide long-term benefits and a slice of freedom. "True wealth lies not just in monetary assets but in the freedom to live life on one's own terms," he adds. "Often people have the monetary assets, and still cannot live the life they want."

James Gerrard's approach has a simple yet powerful principle - mindset. By cultivating the mental fortitude to lean into fear and let go of greed, he can take advantage of market cycles and attract trusted capital. His message to aspiring investors is clear: "There is a generational opportunity now. Asset prices are declining. The window is closing. Buy."

Knowing this is the opportunity of his generation, and in the spirit of sharing his knowledge and expertise, Gerrard is offering a series of free workshops to empower others and shine a light on that potential. Individuals can sign up through his website and gain knowledge through his social media channels like Instagram. Through these sessions, he hopes to inspire a new generation of investors to seize the moment and build wealth through real estate.

As James Gerrard's remarkable journey continues to unfold, one thing remains certain - his story serves as a testament to the transformative power of strategic investing and unwavering determination. In a world ripe with opportunity, Gerrard stands as a beacon of hope for those who dare to dream big and take action to turn those dreams into reality.