Colliers International, alongside Amicus Leadership Consultancy, hosted a webinar on 19 May examining the impact of uncertainty on the commercial property sector, the economic implications and a broad view of global political dynamics.
Colliers’ Head of Research and Economics, Dr Walter Boettcher, was joined by Sir Peter Wall, former Head of British Army and Director of Amicus; John McTernan, political strategist and Sir Tom Tugendhat, MP and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The session, attended by over 200 senior property professionals, began by examining London’s USPs and evaluating the city’s position in the hierarchy of global financial centres. It also looked at the changing nature of inbound capital flows. A wide-ranging roundtable discussion followed on the UK’s place in future global politics, the need for clarity of communication in a crisis and the political and economic impacts of uncertainty on the commercial property market.
During the roundtable, the audience was surveyed and while almost all agreed (87 per cent) that London and the UK would retain access to sufficient international capital to support the economy and property sector, and 56 per cent thought that an international ‘property shock’ of some order might be in the making due to COVID-19 and the consequent recession.
Dr Walter Boettcher, commented: “I may have been in a minority in not expecting an international property shock, but this is due to what I see as the extraordinary weight of global capital and the ongoing international demand for real estate assets used as proxies for bonds. I do appreciate the scope for unprecedented disruptions deriving from new geopolitical risks as well as new technological revolutions, and I also shared the panel’s concerns about the lack of generational expertise to deal with economic and employment shocks such as was seen in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s, but I also shared the optimism of our distinguished guests that the UK will not have to compromise its ideologies in order to pursue its interests and exercise influence and leadership in the international arena.”
The webinar provided invaluable insights from Peter, John and Tom, all of whom shared their experiences into dealing with uncertainty and how they understand the shockwaves that have been felt through all markets and geographies.