Millshomes in administration

A developer of apartments within refurbished mills in Reddish in Stockport has gone into administration.

Millshomes has appointed Paul Stanley and Jason Greenhalgh, from Begbies Traynor's Manchester office, as joint administrators.

Stanley, a partner in the insolvency firm, has decided to manage 40 of the apartments at Millshomes' Victoria Mill development in Reddish as a going concern instead of trying to sell the properties en-bloc in the market.

Stanley said: "These apartments have been built to a good standard and let well. They are better than many of the other schemes I have seen both in terms of location and spec.

"The slump in mortgage lending and wider economic downturn was the downfall of Millshomes and, as it stands, value is best realised by letting out the completed units.

"Greater Manchester has many part-finished developments and mixed use schemes. Developments that once epitomised city living and went like hot cakes to eager buy to let landlords now stand empty or unfinished.

"We are seeing a growing number of property related administrations and insolvencies where a developer or contractor has managed to keep their head above water for several years but are now finally forced to bow out.

"When properties are selling or being repossessed for a fraction of what they were valued at in 2008 it makes little sense to carry on selling them, and so lenders are increasingly finding themselves taking on the role of landlords, usually via LPA receivers or administrators."

Stanley advises that renting out unsold properties can be a sensible move and can provide much needed short term cash for struggling developers.

He added: "An empty property is no good to anyone; an occupied buy to let apartment is certainly a more inviting prospect for buyers than an empty one and there is still an appetite for contemporary, urban living. However, there are VAT pitfalls if a residential scheme is converted to a buy-to-let scheme and advice should be sought first."

Stanley is currently weighing up the options for two other Millshomes developments, which includes a part finished residential scheme, Elizabeth Mill, and an industrial unit Eleanor Mill.

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