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News Release

Manchester

Market confidence reaches highest level since downturn

Leading North West valuation expert says worst may now be over for the region


Manchester, 8th May 2013 –  Tim Luckman, head of Jones Lang LaSalle’s North West Valuation Advisory team, said that the regional property market may now be moving past its nadir following the financial crisis.

Speaking to an audience of over 230 property professionals at the consultancy’s Spring North West Breakfast Briefing Seminar, Mr Luckman said that, while liquidity issues remained, current confidence in the regional market is the strongest it had been since before the downturn.

He said: “While the recovery is by no-means at full speed yet, the overall sentiment in the marketplace is more positive now than it has been for several years.

“The news I hear on a daily basis from the region’s property companies, private investors and developers is generally positive – occupier activity has improved, take-up is on the rise across all sectors and incentives are coming down.

“Investment sales for prime and good secondary assets are now typically subject to multiple bids, with premiums on some portfolio sales. Owner occupiers are returning, and my own team has valued more land in the last six months than at any time in the past five years; developers are finally dusting off their plans.

“As for the banks, in spite of continued deleveraging the recent data from the Bank of England shows that commercial property lending has remained broadly flat as a result of growing appetite from lenders to finance prime real estate.”

Mr Luckman was introducing a series of talks and a panel discussion involving some of the consultancy’s  regional practice heads, including Dan Burn from industrial and logistics, Chris Mulcahy from office agency and Simon Merry from investment, in addition to Jonathan Heptonstall from its retail investment team in London and Andrew Burrell, its head of EMEA forecasting.

While the presentations each underlined Tim Luckman’s positive outlook, the speakers were also careful to underline the fragility of the current market.

Andrew Burrell head of EMEA Forecasting added: “While there is certainly enough evidence to suggest that we may have reached the bottom of the market, there is no doubt that things remain tough and a sustained recovery remains dependent on wider events in the fragile global economy. The UK has only narrowly avoided a triple-dip recession itself and growth remains anaemic.

“Any improvement in confidence must also be seen within the context of the past few years, in which we have faced one of the most difficult property markets in a generation.

Tim Luckman, concluded: “It is unlikely that we may ever see the rapid pace of growth that preceded the financial crisis again, or at least for some many years. But, with a real feeling that the market has turned a corner, it is a realistic hope that this confidence will translate into a strong year for the North West.”