While Brexit and political uncertainty continue to muddy the market, I joined 240 UK property professionals in seeking positivity and clarity of government policies at the RICS Commercial Property Conference 2017.
Just about everyone I met handled only UK-based work and, prior to the presentations, there was much deliberation and doubt about what our historical change with Europe will bring. The packed agenda promised to deliver insights that would help the industry respond to market changes and the pressing issues—and I’m pleased to report that it didn’t disappoint.
Read on to find out what I learnt during a busy and thought-provoking day in central London.
Dr Walter Boettcher, Research Director of Colliers International, was first up on stage and gave the delegates a confidence-giving boost that we were seeking in his presentation “UK property market: cyclical, political or technological”.
Next on stage was the CEO Forum made up of representatives from GVA, Howard de Walden Estate and Kames Capital who discussed the current Brexit landscape.
Despite attempting to be positive, they found it difficult to predict where the UK property industry is within the Brexit cycle. The consensus is that targets will be met with a “get on with it” attitude.
After the two main presentations, attendees had a choice of breakout presentations. Here are some of the key discussion points and things I learned from sessions on ‘Real estate and the tech sector’ and ‘Innovation in retail’
The day was packed full of subjects across a range of disciplines so there was plenty food for thought. Although I couldn’t attend all the sessions, I was kept constantly busy networking with professionals from a variety of disciplines.
The consensus from people I spoke to was that we got the positivity we were looking for – albeit with a healthy dose of constructive realism. I have to agree and I found it particularly pleasing that, despite the ongoing pollical upheaval, the presentations and discussions focused on longer-term solutions.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing how quickly we’ve progressed in 2018.
The RICS Commercial Property Conference took place on the 7 December 2017 at Victoria Park Plaza in London.
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