Every other month we host an early morning breakfast for agents, this was the final breakfast of 2017 and was well received by all.

Seated around the table are, Andy Jansons, Rupert Churchill, Roger Saper, Eddy Smythe, Huw Williams, Phil Stebbings, Paul Nash, Patrick Conroy and Matthew Battle.

After a delicious breakfast, a lively discussion took place, kicked off by Andy asking for views on various sectors of the property market. Andy started by talking about the industrial market exceeding the residential market. Industrial is reaching £3m per acre in certain areas against residential reaching £2m per acre in the same area. In the London area and certainly close to Heathrow  buildings are in the region of £250 per sq ft. (2nd hand stock) whilst new builds are up to £300 per sq ft.

Certainly, in London there is a trend towards new, 3 storey, mixed use, multi-storey workshops.  This is led by a shortage of land in an ever-changing landscape.  Other suggestions are for industrial use on the ground floor (which covers employment use) with residential above. This is tending to gear toward the affordable housing sector.  There can be issues with noisy deliveries and access to take into consideration.

There is also a sway towards managed office space, with small residential units above.  This is geared very much towards the Millennials, work/live/socialise all in one space.  It is a lifestyle trend, some of these properties have cinema rooms and communal spaces, and fulfils this segment of the market.

A new discussion then revolved around the budget and the new rules for stamp duty for first time buyers. This certainly goes some way towards helping this market but time will tell if the market gets a boost.

Various opinions and discussions took place regarding regional planning authorities having different rules. Utility providers holding up developments. Building in air space, certainly around the M25 where there is a good residential market.

Finally, the group talked about the top 4 supermarkets and how Aldi and Lidl took advantage of the recession and did very well, the way the public viewed them changed as a result of the recession. Operators now look at the concessions such as Costa and McDonalds moving into stores to bring in footfall rather than being in the car parks and the public not then going into the store to spend.

That’s it for the agents breakfasts this year, watch this space in 2018 for more opinions.

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