Although we two have developed green fingers we also dabble in the market for 'By to Let' properties. As with rival punters we have discovered that demand for our offerings can be rewarding. Economists reckon that one in thirty adults- including one in four MPs - have become part-time landlords. Many investors have retired from full-time work and enjoy being neither architects nor exactly entrepreneurs. The return on capital invested is uncertain because our flighty clients come and go as they please. Would-be customers are often wary of market forces because they have been brought up to construct their own residencies, or take over properties that have been abandoned. Even so there is at present a lively interest in the market for off-the-peg residencies. Pricey though they can be, state of the art buildings make it possible to do away with the grubby labours of do-it-yourself construction.
By and large, however, the quirks of individual tastes take a lot of beating. The snag is, however, that neighbours, predators and sharp-eyed business moguls, are prompted by the same impulses as other interested parties who take the trouble to make or purchase what they fancy. This means that those of us who dabble in the market for homes are in a dubious position when it comes to policing the nest boxes they have put together, purchased or plundered. Nature is more at home when imposing the 'market forces' of supply and demand, than abiding by the rules of fair play. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.