As last year starkly demonstrated, second-guessing how events will play out in the post-truth world is nigh-on impossible. But that hasn’t deterred the great and the good of property from gazing into their crystal balls and pondering the year ahead.
Leading property figures are looking to the year ahead with a mixture of trepidation and cautious optimism.
It may not have been the biggest deal of 2016 in terms of financial value, but in November when Hightower announced it was merging with rival proptech outfit VTS in a deal thought to be worth $300m (£240m), it sent shockwaves throughout the proptech sector.
Never has crystal ball gazing been so fiendishly difficult. The dense fog hanging over the political and economic landscape has made it nigh-on impossible to see ahead with any clarity, certainly not beyond three months when Article 50 will (presumably) have been triggered by Theresa May.
Predictions in Data
After a tumultuous 2016, the coming year is expected to be a tough one for the UK property market. Returns are forecast to be flat or marginally positive as capital values continue to drift down.
Ten leading names from across the property sector including Keith Breslauer (Patron Capital), Nicolas Guerin (Linkcity) and David Wong (Lee Baron) talk about their highs and lows of the past year and preview what will be big news in 2017.
Other 2017 property previews
Shared ownership has been around for decades. But despite huge demand – more than 80,000 people a year register or express an active interest in buying a shared ownership home every year – it has never quite established itself as a mainstream product within the housing market. Until now.
With more than a third of the UK’s workforce not eligible for a mortgage, the future lies in build to rent.
The emerging Christmas trading figures illustrate that high street retailers face a challenging 2017 through the ongoing threat of online retailing, an increase in costs and rising inflation.
Average total returns on UK property will be around 4% in 2017, according to JLL.
As 2017 goes on, we will begin to see some of the full implications of the UK’s decision to leave the EU spelt out, which will help dampen the uncertainty that has hampered the commercial property market since the Brexit vote.