We sat down with Chris Treadwell, Relationship Manager at Avamore Capital, in this week’s Property & Politics to find out what trends he has seen in the bridging and development industry following recent political changes.
What changes have you noticed in the industry since Brexit?
Both enquiries and transactions appear to be on the rise, and I think this is because there is some clarity on the where the United Kingdom stands politically. This has resulted in an active start to 2020. We have seen a lot more deals come in. This is in comparison to the end of 2019 (prior to the December election). However, Brexit is still a long process and I am sure the increase that we are seeing in the industry right now is subject to change.
What government policy over the past 5 years has been supportive of the industry? Why do you think this has been the case?
I think there have been a few government policies which have been helpful to the industry. Stamp duty land tax relief (SDLT) was implemented in 2017 for first time buyers who were purchasing residential properties for £500,000 or less. Later, in 2018, first time buyers who qualified for the relief, paid no SDLT on the first £300,000 of their purchase. If the price was between £300,000 and £500,000, they paid 5% on the amount which is a reduction of £5,000 compared to the amount of SDLT they would have paid under the normal rates. This helped first time buyers get on the property ladder and kept the sales market moving which, ultimately, drove the construction industry too.
What do you think the property development industry looks like in 2020?
I think business will continue as normal; however, it seems the industry is facing yet another obstacle which is the COVID-19. It is too soon to make any outright assumptions, but the Coronavirus has impacted many big and small businesses already. This is likely to continue until policies are implemented to help control the virus and keep the economy moving.
What opportunities do you think Brexit offers for the industry?
Generally, I believe Brexit will restore a sense of optimism back into the market and I think the likelihood of people wanting to invest money into UK property development will increase. Just like Brexit, however, I feel this change will be achieved at a slow and steady process.
Now that Brexit has happened, do you think this has caused more or less political uncertainty?
Truthfully, this is a question that no one knows the answer to – me included. We are still in a transitional phase of Brexit. There are a lot of things that are likely to change. Nevertheless, the impact and recovery from COVID-19 is likely to be a big focus for the rest of 2020.
Stay tuned for the next insight into Property & Politics!