Commercial property market in Wales to see shift in risk factors

By: Jane Tindall
Jane Tindall
I've worked within the banking & financial regulation industry for over 10 years. Now, I report on these sectors… read more.
on Jan 23, 2015

Political risks to the Welsh commercial property market will overtake economic concerns this year, according to Chris Sutton, lead director of property advisers JLL in Wales. The real estate specialist told Wales Online earlier this month that market conditions had improved markedly in 2014 despite the impact of the country’s national debt and the strength of sterling. Providing his forecast for this year, Sutton said that both of these concerns remain but have moved down the risk register, with political events, such as May’s General Election becoming a more apparent reason for market fluctuations.

“In less than six months, we face the prospect of a general election which may, or may not, have a clear outcome. In addition we have an Assembly election in 18 months’ time and a continued debate on the devolution settlement, following the Scottish referendum,” Sutton told the news service. He added that a potential UK referendum on EU membership could also hit business confidence due to the risks of losing access to a single market of over 500 million people.

Regarding Wales’ residential property, the JLL director said that the market continued to be dominated by politics. According to his view, government intervention, such as the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, will remain “both the greatest support and risk” for the sector.
“In summary, the next twelve months should see a consolidation of the economic recovery. However, there remain many challenges for the property industry to overcome,” Sutton concluded.

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