Property & Politics – Paul Durrant

We sat down with Paul DurrantDirector, from Regency Grove for this edition of Property & Politics. We discussed how recent political changes have impacted his daily business processes and experiences in the market.

How did political uncertainty leading up to the December election impact your day-to-day business?

– The uncertainty leading up to the December election definitely impacted the whole market. Most people took a cautious approach and some even paused activity until there was clarity on the UK government. I’m not sure how many people had prepared to react to what was to come next. It has been challenging to plan ahead for the past few years and so the time leading up to the election was no different. Most people took a ‘watch and wait’ approach which I think was sensible.

What changes have you noticed in the industry since Brexit? 

– Generally, I personally have noticed that people have a more positive outlook on things now that there is less uncertainty in the market. There has also been a palpable sense of relief which has triggered more confidence from professionals and companies.

What opportunities do you think Brexit offers for the industry? 

–        Just like before, it is still really difficult to make any definitive predictions about the industry at the moment. In terms of construction, a big element to consider is the impact that Brexit will have on materials and labour. There may be opportunities for more innovative construction methods and investment within the UK for skilled labour and apprenticeship schemes, but it still feels too early to be overly confident about it.

Do you think the industry will see an active spring/summer market? 

– I feel like we’re already experiencing an active market and I think this is accountable to the positivity and relief in the market that I referenced in question 2. However, although we have overcome one hurdle (Brexit), we now face another, which is the impact of the Coronavirus. We have already seen how the Coronavirus has impacted the wider business industry and I think these changes will continue as long as the virus spreads (and is at the forefront of the media)

Do you think the industry is still cautious about moving ahead? Explain why you think so.

–        Instinctively, people are still cautious about making big investments following the uncertainty of the past few years. Even though Brexit has been ‘done’ there is still lots that needs to be clarified which will impact the property market. Nevertheless, I think the market is still very competitive. There are a lot of lenders in the market who want to do deals (although most are all chasing a similar pool of transactions) and equally there are developers who want to build – the contractors, professionals and suppliers sit somewhere between the two and are competing for their own place in the market.
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