Property News Response to the budget from Colliers International


Dr. Walter Boettcher, Director – Research & Forecasting, Colliers International commented:

“The actual budget allocations are perhaps secondary to a clear government proclamation of regulatory and business tax reforms that will bring much needed certainty and stability for international businesses.  This must be good news for leasing agents who have detected a significant lag between UK economic recovery and recovery of demand for space by international corporate operators.

“Increased bank levies to offset decreases in corporation tax are not likely to encourage further expansion of the City banking sector and supporting financial services firms. Although international banks will be heartened by greater tax certainty.

“Relaxation of planning regimes and incentives for first time buyers should go some way to allaying criticisms by the OECD of a logjam in the development of the UK housing market.”

Richard Grass, Head of Public Sector at Colliers International commented:

“Confirmation of the reintroduction of Enterprise Zones is a welcome sign that the coalition is focussing on growth as well as reducing public expenditure, although £100m will be spread fairly thin across 21 different zones over four years.

“The main criticisms of previous Enterprise Zones were that some of them were in areas of long term structural decline, and that jobs created were simply displacing employment from elsewhere and disappearing when the incentives ran out. To have any lasting impact these incentives need to be focussed on areas with high growth potential and which can deliver near term employment rather than just shiny new buildings on derelict land.”

Nick Katz, Senior Sustainability Advisor, Colliers International commented:

“Today’s Budget will have a serious impact on commercial real estate in the UK, especially with regard to sustainability issues.  Hopefully, the newly proposed cuts of almost 70% to the tariffs offered by the FITs for solar photovoltaic installations will not be a pre-cursor to further confusion around the support from the UK Government for the sustainability agenda in this country.

“We also see the government supporting the Green Bank. This will be a boon to the sustainability industry by providing further means of investment and financing in this sector to increase the energy security of the UK and make sure we can drive our sustainability agenda as a country as effectively and quickly as we can.”