On Tuesday 10th March over 130 JLL clients and business contacts attended the South Wales Report Launch at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.
This event, which celebrated the 20th edition of the South Wales Report, saw presentations from Ben Burston, who provided an insightful view of the wider economic picture before Chris Sutton, Justin Millett, Rhydian Morris and Kathryn Williams outlined the property market by sector in Wales.
"This is our 20th annual report on the South Wales property market. There is no doubt that the property market has evolved significantly over the last two decades whilst the political landscape of Wales has also changed markedly. This year however, also sees another milestone for the Cardiff office. It is the 125th anniversary of the opening of Powell & Powell in 1890, the firm which merged with JP Sturge in 1990 and more latterly ,as King Sturge, became part of JLL in 2011.
Chris Sutton - Lead Director, Cardiff
"The UK will have another strong year in 2015, with 2.7% GDP growth forecast – making it among the strongest performing economies in the developed world. Solid economic growth is driving resurgent employment growth, with both the UK and Wales experiencing the fastest rate of job creation since the late 1980s. Accordingly, we expect to see more office occupiers in expansion mode this year, while retail and logistics will be supported by the welcome return of real wage growth. Cardiff is benefitting from the trend to greater urbanisation in the UK, and is forecast to grow more rapidly than other Welsh regions over the next few years, which should enable the positive momentum in the property market to continue into 2015 and beyond, notwithstanding current uncertainty around the upcoming election."Ben Burston - Director, UK Research
"2014 was a strong year for the South Wales office market and it wasn't just Cardiff making the headlines. There were a number of inward investment projects creating a significant number of new jobs, which is something we should definitely build on. Cardiff is competing well with the other regional cities and has three speculative office schemes currently under construction totalling 260,000 sq ft. There is a definite 'feel good' factor in the city following BBC Wales's commitment to Cardiff and with renewed confidence in the market the level of demand is expected to strengthen further in 2015. The owners of good quality office space have certainly seen the benefits with rents on the rise and contracting incentives."Rhydian Morris – Director, Cardiff
"The Planning (Wales) Bill is fundamental to the future of the property market in Wales. How Wales implements this Bill will determine whether the planning system becomes a national asset, or a dis-incentive for investment."Kathryn Wiliams - Senior Planner, Cardiff
"The residential sector has seen a strong recovery and the outlook is positive. New policies to encourage investment and growth, with strategic planning, should help support the delivery of new housing."Kathryn Wiliams - Senior Planner, Cardiff
"Across the property industry the devolution debate is watched with interest however surely the priority is to secure a sharper focus on increasing the competiveness of the Welsh business environment; that is to deliver a devolution dividend and not a devolution risk premium.
The role of Cardiff as the driver of economic activity for South Wales reflects city growth theory elsewhere in the UK. Indeed, Cardiff became the tenth member of the UK Core Cities initiative and has recently joined up with Bristol and Newport to form the 'Great Western Cities'. Our priority should be to harness this energy and vision within a single framework for the future prosperity of the region, one that can also include the three Enterprise Zones of Cardiff Airport, Central Cardiff and Ebbw Vale. This framework is likely to be most effective when built around the emerging city region proposals."Chris Sutton - Lead Director, Cardiff
Speakers L-R: Jeremy Richards, Chris Sutton, Ben Burston, Kathryn Williams, Rhydian Morris, Justin Millett.
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This year’s South Wales Report highlights an improving market across most property sectors.
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