Struggling to get out of bed on time in the morning?

Liz Hamson, editor of Propety Week

Nursing the headache that inevitably accompanies a January dryathlon? Experiencing absolutely zero sense of health and wellbeing after hitting the gym or embarking on the 5:2/Paleo/Bulletproof/Virgin (yup, really) diet?

It sounds as though you need a guilt-free pick me up. If so, click on the link on the right (Property Predictions 2015) and read the views of some of the biggest names in the industry on what general election year has in store (no sniggering at the outfits please). It makes for fascinating reading, not least because of the lack of consensus on certain issues, most notably the election. The gloves have already come off in what is shaping up to be one of the tightest, most fieercely fought contests for years. Who emerges victorious is anyone’s guess and what e ect all this uncertainty will have on the market in the run up is pretty unpredictable too.

If we have a hung parliament, we could end up with a minority Tory government, minority Labour government or another coalition. Complicated enough, but what role might ‘man of the people’ Nigel Farage play? Or Alex Salmond? (I’m guessing it’s not just Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson who the idea of Salmond as the next deputy prime minister “scares the bejesus out of”).

And to what extent will campaigners move away from the obvious battlegrounds of the NHS and spending plans to property issues and last year’s hot political topic: the housing crisis.

Our guess is that the parties will promise the earth in the run up to the general election, but the situation will be as critical come the end of the year. Indeed, despite the news more first time buyers bought homes last year than at any point since 2007, homes could become even less affordable.

As for mansion tax, MPs are more supportive of a reform of the council tax bands, it seems, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come to pass if Labour does get in in some form (possibly not Ed Miliband shaped). There is no way I am going to call the outcome of election. But here are a few predictions the team and I are prepared to have a stab at:

  • The focus of residential development in London will shift from prime central London to outer London and from prime to mid market, although there will still be intense international competition for prime London sites;
  • The PRS will continue to slowly but surely pick up speed;
  • International investment will come from an increasingly diverse array of countries
  • More international investors will look to the regions as the capital became too pricey - especially if and when the likes of Manchester and Birmingham get extra powers;
  • However, the oil price crash will hit investment appetite in oil-producing nations, as will growing global political and economic volatility;
  • Yields, which tend to soften in years in which there are closely fought elections, will actually compress under the sheer weight of money looking for a home;
  • There will be increased speculative development in the industrial market in particular because of the lack of supply;
  • Whether or not QIA/Brookfield wins Songbird, the company will be taken over in 2015 (don’t necessarily hold me to this one)
  • Perennial bid target Hammerson will also be forced to attempt to fend off another approach (or this)
  • And of course, there will be a record number of entries to the 20th Property Awards. (Now don’t make me a liar - get your skates on and enter!)

We’re in for some real highs and lows I suspect.