April 2, 2019
James Cullen, head of building surveying jamescullen@ georgefwhite.co.uk
“In 2018, the North East was one of only four UK regions to record increased investment in commercial property. Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, we hope to see the Newcastle property market continue to perform well through 2019 with a number of new flagship developments planned in the city which should somewhat satisfy the current lack of prime office space, along with expanding the leisure offering. Our commercial surveyors are completing an increasing number of transactions and valuations of industrial properties, reflecting the strength of this sector in the region and the UK as a whole.
“Although there is a desire to invest in the North East, we have found that clients are becoming more cautious. This uncertainty has provided our building surveying team with a vast number of due diligence and compliance instructions, ensuring property owners are achieving the best value from their assets. Also adding value, the energy team have been advising on the environmental and financial benefits realised by energy efficiency, with a large number of landlords affected by the Government’s recent drive for more sustainable property.”
Donna Cheney, head of lettings donnacheney@ gfwletting.co.uk
“Residential lettings has seen strong growth in the last year, across the North East and Yorkshire, generally in our Wolsingham, Alnwick and Bedale offices, and also, specifically, in the Newcastle market. Our Newcastle office has seen an increase of over 30 per cent in the number of lets completed in the financial year to date. “We see nothing to suggest that this trend will cease; the rental market in Newcastle is buoyant with plenty of activity. This means that rental levels are fairly stable for landlords, with generally small void periods, making the Newcastle lettings market an attractive prospect.
“We’ve not seen any effects of Brexit uncertainty in lettings, and with large employers in the region such as hospitals, universities and airports, we are confident that the lettings market will continue to thrive.”
Richard Garland, partner, head of planning and development richardgarland@ georgefwhite.co.uk
“Over the past 24 months, our Newcastle team has been securing planning consent and promoting exciting residential schemes across the North East. Demand for sites from developers continues to be strong across the region, particularly around Tyneside and the conurbations. This is in response to continued strong demand for good-quality housing and there’s no sign of this slowing.
“Many Local Authorities don’t have up-to-date Local Plans, and those that do have already allocated strategic sites; however, many of these sites are yet to be delivered. The new NPPF (2019) has an emphasis on delivery of residential growth and failure to deliver much-needed units will see action plans put in place to ensure housing comes forward, which is an opportunity for our clients.
“Our team has been considering suitable sites which were too expensive to develop, and successfully minimising financial and affordable housing contributions that are often sought by Local Authorities. This is a key consideration for our clients at a time where development costs continue to rise at a higher rate than property values.”