John Morley has delivered a number of residential projects using fractional sales and says the method has huge merit despite a number of high-profile failures in Liverpool. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool developer John Morley has has issued a defence of the fractional-investment sales model at the centre of a number of stalled and collapsed developments in the city.
As boss of Legacie Developments, John Morley has successfully delivered a number of residential projects in the city, including Reliance House in Water Street, and he believes the method is supporting Liverpool’s ongoing renaissance.
However, he also concedes that developers need to be better regulated and said he is prepared to work with others in the sector, and with the city council, to establish a tighter framework.
Fractional-investment sales is where deposits from off-plan buyers fund much of the development on the promise of attractive yields upon completion. It has attracted criticism in the city following the collapse of a number of schemes, most notably North Point Global’s New Chinatown Project.
However, Mr Morley says he continues to have faith in the model and is using it to fund a number of projects it has in the pipeline, such as Parliament Square where it will build 500 apartments in the Baltic Triangle and a four-star hotel on the site of a current car park in Duke Street.
Legacie has also used the finance structure for its Ropemaker Place scheme, which is nearing completion. Mr Morley believes Liverpool would be foolish to move away from the finance model.
John Morley said: “Fractional-investment sales have helped our property portfolio to expand rapidly, which has resulted in Legacie building the first-class accommodation Liverpool needs and deserves.
“We are on-site with major developments across the Liverpool city region which have created jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities. Liverpool’s economy is booming, with overseas investors seeing the property market as a prime opportunity to invest.
“I believe the model is fit-for-purpose, though to protect developers and investors alike it does need some regulation. It would help instil confidence and credibility and mean even more investment is pumped into the city.
“We would be happy to work with other developers to assist the council with a plan to move forward with regulation to ensure we future-proof not only the development community but also Liverpool’s regeneration.”