Daniel Austin, CEO of ASK Partners and Cornerstone Group Chairman David Hannah commenting on Rightmove house price data that shows average price increases of 0.8 per cent in May and an average 8.3 per cent in rents over the last 12 months.

Daniel Austin tells FM Magazine: “The property sector is recovering. Rent values have seen sustained growth, positioning real estate as reasonably valued in comparison to gilts and presenting growth potential. In the realm of commercial real estate, factors like physical condition, location, and age significantly influence a property’s value. Well-maintained properties boasting modern amenities tend to command higher prices, while neglected ones may struggle to attract tenants or investors. In the current market, the emphasis has shifted towards the importance of location and quality over the yield on debt or cost. We anticipate opportunistic acquisitions of prime properties in prime locations.

“A RICS survey uncovered that non-traditional market segments, such as aged care facilities, student housing, data centres and life sciences real estate are yielding the most robust returns. With housing set to be a battleground point in this year’s election and as the sector moves to the top of the agenda for all parties, we hope to see a long-term plan for new homes, including social housing, however, we expect we will see more short term fixes. Stimulus will be welcome but can create unnecessary froth. For voters, a stamp duty holiday or reprieve may be a welcome sign. For developers, eased planning regulations for brownfield sites and conversions will be popular. However, the government will be faced with a challenge – striking a balance between trying to increase housing supply and therefore affordability by supporting developers and private landlords but appealing to voters who do not want to see greenfield development. The planning system remains hotly political and as a result, landlords and developers are unlikely to see much in their favour. As a debt provider, we hope to support the best sites in prime locations with well-capitalised sponsors who understand their product. Following this strategy, we aim to bolster developers’ initiatives with the flexible underwriting approach that is necessary for navigating current planning rules and market uncertainty. This will enable us to continue to offer opportunities for the growing number of private individuals opting to invest in property debt.”

David Hannah adds: “The relentless surge in interest rates by the Bank of England last year severely compromised the affordability of mortgages and affected buyers’ spending capacity. Yet, amid this challenging landscape, the latest report from Halifax may provide those stuck in the rental market with a glimmer of hope.

“Speculated interest rate cuts and the first recorded drop in house prices in six months, may suggest that affordability issues could subside towards the end of the year and early 2025. So, while the road ahead may seem uncertain, it’s important to remember that even in the face of a challenging market, the property market can adapt and rebound, offering opportunities for those who remain vigilant and strategic.”


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