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Colliers International comments on the Comprehensive Spending Review


Our Economic experts respond to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s Comprehensive Spending Review announced in parliament today (Wednesday 25 November). 

During his speech the Chancellor shared the OBR’s latest economic forecasts suggesting that the UK economy is set to suffer an 11.3% decline in GDP this year, before recovering by 5.5% in 2021 and 6.6% in 2022.

Oliver Kolodseike, UK deputy chief economist said: “There were no real new revelations in today’s spending review, in which Chancellor Rishi Sunak laid out the Government’s spending plans for the next financial year. The spending promises will continue to see the country through these difficult economic times, and will attempt to bolster consumer confidence. The pay increases for some public sector and low paid workers are welcome but we will not know until the March budget announcements what the fall out will be for the man on the street - or private investors. Currently we are sitting in a holding pattern and short-term economic performance depends heavily on localised restrictions. Under current forecasts, the size of the economy will not reach its pre-COVID level until at least the end of 2022.”

Key announcements included: 

  • £3bn Restart Scheme to channel one million long-term unemployed back into work
  • Funding for the construction of 40 new hospitals and the refurbishment and upgrade of 70 more
  • Increases in the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage
  • A £100bn infrastructure investment fund, with a UK Investment Infrastructure Bank set to be based in the north of England
  • A new levelling up fund of £4bn to be utilised by local authorities again for infrastructure.

Dr Walter Boettcher, Head of Research & Economics at Colliers International added: “The long delayed National Infrastructure Strategy appears to have been launched with the announcement of a new National Infrastructure Bank to be located in the North of England. This should be reassuring for property and infrastructure investors because implementing the Infrastructure Strategy will require highly focused financial expertise to support projects and structure opportunities in a way that will attract and optimise private sector investment.  Given limited government resources relative to the scale of the undertaking, private investors will be required to do the heavy lifting. The government’s role will be in seed funding and otherwise enabling projects of scale.”

Speaking about the changes in regulations for local authorities borrowing from the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) John Knowles, Head of National Capital Markets, said: “Changes to the PWLB borrowing is a positive move for local authorities looking to undertake regeneration projects in their area, this will help to make these plans more achievable and affordable and bring about greater town centre investment across the country. The change in emphasis for these loans from investment to infrastructure improvements fairly reflects the challenges faced by local communities and the real estate market currently.

“There are still other alternatives for councils looking to maximise their income on property investments, albeit not with treasury underwriting.”

Related Experts

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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Oliver Kolodseike

Director of Economics and Research

Research and Forecasting

London - West End

Oliver is Head of Economic Research and leads the quarterly UK forecasting process including the publication of Colliers' Real Estate Investment Forecasts (REIF) report. He also  authors the monthly Property Snapshot and, quarterly Scotland Snapshot. Prior to joining Colliers, he worked for the Centre for Economics and Business Research and IHS Markit. Oliver holds a BA in Economics from  Georg-August University Göttingen (Germany) and an MSc in Economics from Exeter University.

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John Knowles

Head of National Capital Markets

National Capital Markets

London - West End

A highly qualified real estate professional, John has extensive knowledge of direct and indirect real estate and finance projects in Europe and Asia.

Prior to joining Colliers, John was MD Corporate Finance at DTZ and Head of Capital Markets at LSH. He has worked extensively in distressed debt and NPL situations and has concluded transactions in the last 12 months for Cerberus, Starwood and LBG.

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Kim Inam

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I'm a communications professional who has previously worked as a journalist for eight years covering a broad range of topics including politics, crime, health and housing in north London. In recent years I have worked in corporate communications for local authorities across London  and joined Colliers in October 2019, initially providing maternity leave cover.

I provide strategic public relations advice to various business lines within the UK organisation to secure recognition for their work in the property press as well as key target media, and work with our experts to produce thought leadership pieces which are of interest to our clients and colleagues within the commercial real estate sector. In addition, alongside colleagues in the PR and wider communications team, I provide media and social media training for our in-house experts to prepare them for media opportunities and raise their personal brand within the sector.

As well as supporting various teams within the UK business, I also I curate and edit regular content for the blog, which drives credible business leads to our experts.


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