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Ronson blames greedy and inexperienced property investors for real estate crash

Speaking at his company, Heron International, lunch in London, one of the best attended events in the property world, he warned that it was impossible to predict when the market would improve because there was still not enough transparency or trust.

Talking about the reasons behind the global economic downturn, he said that it was not just the fault of the banks. 'You need to look at investors too; investors who have been demanding double digit returns without questioning how they are made. A cocktail of greed, coupled with inexperience has fuelled our problems. Money became too easy to be made rather than as a result of hard work,' he continued.

'The same applies to property. I could never understand how people could buy a property without ever seeing it. I visit all ours regularly and yet certain investors don't ever go out and about. If you own an asset, to maximise its value you have to nurture it, manage it, think about it, not just wait for the quarterly rent to arrive because the danger is, it won't. The result of this chronic lack of experience and expertise is an epidemic of insolvencies,' he added.

He spoke of a 'fog of negativity' which had descended, and warned that 'unless we think positively, we will be unable to rebuild the economy'.

He said there was a rise in people who were too quick to borrow money using the equity in their homes to start businesses that they had no experience in, only to find that business is hard and no prisoners are taken.

He called for 'a return to basics and good, old fashioned property values where proper equity is put in; back to deals showing positive cash flow and conservative leverage. I have always said the property is a long term business and that has never been more true than it is today.

'For even the simple squirrel knows that there will be bleak periods ahead and that, if it is to survive, it has to have reserves for the winter. We will look back at the short term traders and see too many amateurs,' he continued.