Giving commentary to the discussion around residential property market booms and commercial decline in Property Wire, Managing Director Blane Perrotton said “While a loss of momentum in commercial property and infrastructure work dragged down both output and sentiment in the latter part of the 2017, Britain’s house builders continue to buck the trend, posting a sixteenth straight rise in monthly output and injecting a defiant note into an industry which has been hit hard by rising material costs and had its confidence eroded by months of Brexit negotiations. There are some bright spots. Construction firms’ order books are far from empty and on the front line we’re seeing consistent appetite among developers to convert office buildings into residential units under the extended and popular Permitted Development Rights.
It’s too early for the Chancellor’s housebuilding stimulus measures to have filtered through in a significant way, but consistent demand, both from developers and would-be home owners, is ensuring the residential sector is continuing to function as it should. The picture is far less clear on the commercial property front though, with demand being squeezed as larger companies activate Brexit contingency plans and smaller firms mothball plans to scale up their premises. If the coming months fail to deliver greater clarity on what the real impact of Brexit might be, we should expect the commercial sector to continue its stuttering progress.”