Midlands bucks commercial property investment trend

Uncertainty over Brexit continues to impact all sectors of the UK economy, with commercial property investment levels seemingly no exception, according to a recent report from global property giant JLL.

But despite UK investment dropping by 20 per cent in the first half of the year, the Midlands appeared to buck the trend by showing an increase in investment over the period.

“We still don’t know what Brexit is going to look like and the impact it will have on the economy,” comments Sara Shepherd, a Partner in the Higgs & Sons Property Services team. “And that sense of uncertainty is clearly affecting the commercial property sector as we can see from these latest figures issued by JLL. Some regions in the UK have seen investment fall by up to 50 per cent in the first half of this year.

“However, the Midlands as a whole seems to be faring much better as a region as it is still seeing investment levels increase despite the concerns of what may (or may not) happen on October 31st.

“From our experience, Birmingham and its surrounding regions continue to be buoyant in terms of investment in commercial property and infrastructure. The city itself is an ever-changing landscape of new developments and regeneration.

“Of course we are cautious about the impact of Brexit, but we at Higgs continue to work with clients from all sectors who are investing in a region which has seen sustained growth despite several years of economic and political uncertainty.”

Statistics: UK Capital Markets, Review and Outlook, H1 2019 JLL, July 2019 • JLL report July 2019: UK commercial property investment fell from £27bn in the first half of 2018 to £21.9bn in the first half of 2019. • The decline was particularly marked in the second quarter of this year, when investment was down 27% on the first quarter of 2019. • Out of 11 UK regions, only three: Outer London, East Midlands and West Midlands saw an increase in investment • The office sector experienced the biggest fall in activity, with investment down 42%. • Mixed-use saw a 271% increase in activity, and investment in the ‘living’ sector, comprising build-to-rent, seniors and student accommodation, increased 32%.

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