Property challenges persist

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Colin Vallance

Property businesses in the south west are maintaining a bullish approach towards investment opportunities, with a quarter intending to increase their financial investments over the next three to six months, according to a recent survey by Lloyds TSB Commercial.

Colin Vallance

However, while an intention to invest is positive news in an otherwise flat property market, overall the latest ‘Property Matters’ report found that small to medium sized property businesses in the region are continuing to face challenges across the sector, including a lack of confidence around issues such as local planning policy, which continue to impact on appetite to invest.

The latest Property Matters report found that businesses in the south west reported a net reduction in confidence from +8.8 to +0.6 in the last six months. This is in stark contrast to the London property sector, where businesses reported an increase in overall market confidence to +15.

The report revealed 67% of south west property businesses expect static values. This compares to 64% of small to medium sized businesses nationally, which expect values to stay flat.

Residential lettings are set to remain strong, with 42% of south west SMEs predicting that the market will prosper over the coming 3-6 months, compared to 45% of SMEs nationally.

More emphasis is also set to be placed on house build opportunities, with 40% of commercial businesses in the south west planning to focus on this area of the market, compared to 31% of all SMEs nationally.

Attitudes and confidence towards property portfolios in the region remained largely positive, 25% of businesses are expecting things to improve.

Colin Vallance, senior manager, property for Lloyds TSB Commercial in Devon & Cornwall, said: “It continues to be a challenging time for those operating in the property sector in the south west. It is welcome news that a quarter of SMEs in the region plan to increase their financial commitment over the next 3-6 months.”

The full report is available for download here.