Boo. After Ben Stokes’ heroics at the weekend, how deflating was it to see South Africa bounce back after Hashim Amla was dropped not once, not twice, but three times?
Let’s hope the property industry doesn’t do ‘an England’ and drop the ball itself this year. It will certainly need to have its wits about it if it is to keep a firm grasp of its own destiny in the face of myriad challenges hurtling in its direction, not least from the political world.
If ever there was a year politics was poised to be front and centre, 2016 is it. There’s the looming EU referendum (now likely to be sooner rather than later) and accompanying noise around Brexit; the prospect of an interest rate rise; the London mayoral election; the general circus surrounding Jeremy Corbyn (or, as I like to refer to it, Corbynanity); and, of course, the continued volatility on the global stage, with Russia and China, oil prices, North Korea and the escalating terror threat just a few of the storm clouds on the horizon.
Or should that be black holes? In honour of all the sci-fi fare at cinemas recently, we decided to give our predictions special the full space opera treatment and ask industry stars to gaze into the future to give us their forecasts for 2016. Their outlook is, unsurprisingly, less bullish than last year - but positive nonetheless, with a strong economy, employment growth and likely rental growth among the factors expected to mitigate some of the threats. Ditto the continued status of the UK as a relative safe haven and the industry’s determination to navigate safely through the inevitable downturn when it comes.
Many will also be hoping that while the industry does look set to come out of hyperdrive this year, they have sufficiently robust strategies in place to capitalise on the relatively strong market conditions that prevail in the meantime. There could well be a shift back to the property fundamentals, as Jonathan Goldstein predicts, but new approaches and innovation will also be key, with the disruptors increasingly taking their place at the controls.
Property Week will continue to innovate too. This year, we will be introducing a host of exciting new features to our print and digital offer. We will also be launching an array of new events and pulling out all the stops to make our existing events even better. For instance, at the Property Awards on 19 April, we will be inducting the first three property legends to our Property Hall of Fame, sponsored by James Andrew International. As ever, we will also be celebrating the crème de la crème of the property world with the awards themselves, on which note, don’t worry if you haven’t entered yet - the entry deadline has been extended until 29 January (just go to www.awards.propertyweek.co.uk).
As for all the other new initiatives, including something really exciting we’re planning for RESI, I can’t reveal anything at this stage. You’ll just have to watch this space… it is, after all, the final frontier… so may the force be with you… as you boldly go… OK, I’ll stop now.