Independent property developers are divided over Government support to the sector throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a Blandy & Blandy survey. But confidence is increasing.
The firm, which has offices in Reading, Henley and London, found that while 50 per cent of property developers felt the Government had done enough during the past three months and when looking forward, 40 per cent disagreed. The remainder were undecided.
All of those surveyed confirmed they are now operating again, with the majority indicating a growing degree of confidence that the market will continue to recover.
Twenty per cent said that they expected to be more active than normal when it comes to purchasing new development sites within the next six months, and 60 per cent predicted no change. Only 20 per cent said they anticipate being less active than normal.
The longer term outlook was even more positive, with the proportion who expected to be less active during that period falling to 10 per cent, and one third predicting they will be more active than normal.
And, in terms of progressing existing development sites, 40 per cent expected to be more active and 60 per cent unchanged in the coming year.
Developers did however agree that selling completed plots may be more unpredictable, with 70 per cent suggesting that sales may take longer than previously over the next 12 months.
Jane Gunnell, partner in Blandy & Blandy’s commercial property team, said: “Whilst the pandemic has clearly slowed the market down since spring, our team has remained busy and our developer clients have generally remained active in terms of identifying and progressing with development land projects.”
Partner Karen Jones, head of the firm’s planning & environmental law team, said: “In recent history, the housing market in the Thames Valley and indeed much of south east England has remained very buoyant and more resilient to economic downturns and market forces than other regions within the UK.
“Whilst things will inevitably remain at least partially affected by the situation for the remainder of this year, we agree that there are reasons to be more positive in terms of the outlook for 2021 and beyond.”
Image (l-r): Jane Gunnell and Karen Jones.
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