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Autumn Statement – November 2022

17 11 22 Autumn Statement November 2022 hero

In Jeremy Hunt’s first Autumn Statement as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he set out the Government’s commitment to rebuilding public finances, announcing £55bn of fiscal policy measures.


Perhaps the most significant announcement for UK commercial property was the package of targeted support to help with business rates costs, worth more than £13.6 billion. Aside from business rates mitigation, most of the budget impacts on commercial property were, as ever, indirect. Below we set out our experts’ initial reactions.

The economic overview

Dr Walter Boettcher, Head of Research & Economics at Colliers said: “The market response to the Autumn Statement was not especially noteworthy. Currency, bond and equity market movements both pre- and post-statement suggest that possible upsides and downsides were not realised to a degree that has shaken UK financial stability.  In fact, most of the movements look to have occurred prior to the statement, and most suggest continued growing confidence in UK stability.  The conclusion?  The Chancellor’s statement was sufficiently well balanced so as to maintain what some considered to be a fragile post-Truss stability.

“The UK recession is expected to be shallower, the hit to household income and employment less severe, all while inflation is set to be falling by mid-2023.  This was achieved by pushing back most of the pain. The fiscal tightening does not really begin until FY24/25. In fact, according to the OBR, the Chancellor has actually loosened policy in FY22/23 (by £3.8bn) and FY23/24 (by £0.3bn) all while loosening the fiscal rules from a three-year to a five-year time frame. In short, by the time the pain arrives, GDP should be on a stronger trajectory. The OBR forecasts strong growth (2.6%) by 2025.”

Amy Griffiths, a director in our Debt Advisory team added: "From a funding perspective 5 year SONIA SWAPS have tightened by 159bps from 539bps on 27th September to around 380bps demonstrating market sentiment that rates will not need to raise to levels previously felt to curb inflation as a result of other market drivers and leavers pulled by the Chancellor today."

Business Rates Relief

John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers said: “It is with massive relief that the government has finally listened to us and other industry bodies about out-of-control business rates rises following the next Revaluation. By removing any downward transition, the government has finally recognised that the business rates system cannot be revenue neutral without causing significant hardship.

“Rates bills for those in the troubled retail and hospitality sectors should now reflect the economic situation and drop in rents that we have seen in the market. Freezing the multiplier is a big positive, as is capping rates rises. Businesses now will be able to sensibly plan ahead for 2023.”

Read John Webber's full reaction to the Autumn Statement 2022

Cost of running a business

Meanwhile our Head of Alternative Markets James Shorthouse felt that the Government left many in the hospitality sector out in the cold as they face multiple pressure points to keep their businesses going.

He said: “While the business rate relief promise will be a welcome relief to those in the hospitality sector, that is only one of the many challenges that the industry is facing.

“The cost of energy is also a significant pressure point – and the Government gave no indication of any support being made available for those facing eye-wateringly high energy bills. Recruitment remains an ever-present problem, and whilst the increase in the National Minimum Wage may put more money in customers pockets, it also adds to the operating costs of a hospitality business.

“Little has been said about the costs of commercial debt finance – many businesses have loans which are linked to base rate trackers, which means they’re already facing rising finance costs, and the availability and price of refinancing once existing loans come to an end is likely to be a growing problem in 2023.

“While many customers may still want to keep the tills ringing this Christmas, there’s no denying that the coming winter is looking bleak for many operators, and there was little cheer in the Chancellors’ statement today.”

Infrastructure & the levelling up agenda

In response to the Chancellor’s infrastructure commitments and plans for further regional devolution, Dr Walter Boettcher added: “The Chancellor’s infrastructural commitments are especially reassuring alongside the commitment towards further devolution to support ‘civic-led investment’. The Chancellor’s citation of the work done by Andy Street at the West Midlands Combined Authority and Ben Houchen in the Tees Valley is very heartening. It demonstrates that the conceptual apparatus that informed the Northern Powerhouse initiative is alive and well and will continue to be rolled out across the UK as part of the levelling up agenda.

“Furthermore, this civic development could potentially be accelerated exponentially should the proposed Solvency II reforms mentioned by the Chancellor be implemented. Though obscure to many, the Solvency reforms may bring the collective weight of UK institutional capital to work directly on the levelling up agenda, as well as on the expansion and commercialisation of UK’s science industries.

“Given that COP26 and COP27 together suggest that the baton of promoting the green agenda may have already been handed over to businesses, and that business already recognise the enormous values to be released though exploiting and developing new green technologies, there may still be a chance that the UK’s ambitious COP26 commitments for 2030 might still be achieved, despite all the international geopolitical challenges.”


Related Experts

John Webber

Head of Rating

Rating

Birmingham

I have over 35 years’ experience in the rating industry and lead a 135 plus rating team at Colliers.  When I took over responsibility for the team in 2005, it consisted of only a dozen people and has now grown into one of the leading rating advisory teams in the country.  I am a member of Colliers' UK Management Executive as well as sitting on the company’s Balance in Business Committee. 

I am regularly called upon by the national media to give my views on a range of business rates issues and I am involved in lobbying MPs/ministers and senior civil servants on business rates matters.

I started my career in the Valuation Office Agency in Kidderminster.  I joined Gerald Eve in 2000 where I spent 10 years before moving to Gooch Webster (now Colliers). I sit on the National Retail Panel of Rating Surveyors Association which provides guidance on how the RSA town committees work with the VOA and valuation matters.  I have also held the postion as Chair of the RICS Rating Diploma Committee having passed the prestigious qualification in 2014. I currently sit on the Rating Surveyors Association National Committee .

Along with Philip Harrison we founded 'Accurates' in 2007, the Collier's Compliance and Audit team, which although forms an integral part of the Rating team is now a leading brand in its own right.

View expert

James Shorthouse

Head of Alternative Markets

Licensed and Leisure

London - West End

James is one of the UK's leading advisers in Pub, Bar, Restaurant and Leisure sectors. He has worked in the sector for over 30 years, a period during which the sector has undergone enormous changes in its operational, ownership and regulatory structures.

Acting on behalf of major operators, investors and banks on portfolios and high value single assets, James' operator clients include Greene King, Ei group, Casual Dining Group, and Novus. On the investor side, for many years he advised Nomura and Terra Firma, worked closely with Cerberus on all of its leisure sector investments and has recently advised Patron Capital, Stellex and NewRiver.

Within Colliers International, James heads up the UK Licensed & Leisure team and also runs the businesses Alternative Markets Division which encompasses Hotels, Automotive, Healthcare, and other specialist Leisure teams.

Throughout his career James has advised major UK and International lenders, both on new lending and on developing and executing exit strategies for distressed lending positions. His team have worked with a number of F&B operators to rationalise their portfolios and have advised landlords on how to preserve value and retain tenants in difficult times.

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Walter Boettcher

Head of Research and Economics

Research and Forecasting

London - West End

I am the the Chief Economist at global property advisors Colliers International based in London.  I am a research economist identifying timely research topics and directing research and forecasting outputs.

I have over 20 years UK and European property industry experience and extensive expertise across a wide range of property sectors and related industries.

I participate regularly in industry panel discussions, but am focused more on direct client engagement with institutions, property companies, banks, and private investors. A regular media commentator, I have a wide range of national and broadcast experience.

I joined Colliers International in August 2007 after several years at a private property company where he was responsible for managing a mixed portfolio of London residential, retail and office assets.

Previously, I worked in a few London property advisory firms, a geodemographic company as well as a few youthful sojourns in the US offshore oil industry, local government and entertainment business.

I am an economics graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received his PhD from the Faculty of Science at University College London.  I am a member of Lambda Alpha International and the Society of Property Researchers.

Perhaps best known for my alternative take on property economics and investment, I am a keen proponent of UK regional development and infrastructure investment.

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Suzy Simpson

Head of Content, Communications and PR

PR

London - West End

As Head of Content, Communications & PR for Colliers in the UK, I am responsible for driving the strategic direction of corporate communications, media relations, and the programming and production of multi-channel content to engage external and internal audiences across the UK.

Get in touch for help with: 

  • Content Communication Strategy 
  • Media Relations
  • Corporate & Internal Communications
  • Media Training & Personal Brand Training

 

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