Welcome to the summer edition of Perspectives, Property Week’s series of thought leadership essays from key industry figures. 

Richard Williams

This issue captures the views of an array of industry leaders from across the real estate spectrum. It encompasses everything from unlocking brownfield development potential and the continued growth of co-working to bridging loans and the view from the auction room.

Urbanisation has been and will continue to be a key theme for real estate for years to come, yet brownfield land development remains a niche area. Fladgate’s Jenny Sargeant outlines the case for brownfield development – especially given that a lot of brownfield land is near urban centres, with good infrastructure and utility connections. The law firm has conducted a survey on the subject that has found that 79% of its real estate clients see brownfield investment becoming more attractive over the next three years. Brownfield holds the key to supplying the homes this country so badly needs, participants said.

Another sector with its own supply constraints is the industrial and logistics sector. Developers – responding to occupiers’ new demands for the two Ps, people and power – are on the hunt for land that can serve these two principles, according to Colliers International’s Len Rosso and Andrea Ferranti. They say the needs of occupiers have shifted from purely location to being focused on workforce availability and power capability.

“There is little value in investing in a big-box shed if a good local workforce is not available to power it,” they say. Former mining towns such as Sheffield, Darlington and Doncaster are undergoing a renaissance in industrial and logistics development as they are populated by a workforce that can no longer sustain itself with mining employment.

This is certainly food for thought when you consider the announcements of car manufacturing plants closing or shedding jobs across the country. There are many more insightful perspectives flowing through this supplement. We hope you enjoy the read.

Richard Williams is Property Week’s news content editor