Property owners and directors of property companies across the South East have plans to expand their portfolios in the short term, but are struggling to find funding, according to a survey by Crowe Clark Whitehill, the national Audit, Tax and Advisory firm.
In a recent survey, based upon attendees at a series of property seminars organised by Crowe Clark Whitehill, including one held near Maidstone, tough funding conditions were cited as the most challenging issue facing the UK property market in 2012.
Keith Newman, Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill’s offices in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, said: “Attendees, including property developers, investors, as well as property market advisers, were primarily concerned about how they would obtain funding for new and existing property projects. Internal cashflow problems and the inability to sell assets outside of London were also identified as major challenges.
“Property investors and developers are willing to invest in the right location. However, gaining access to funding is still limited and will undoubtedly stifle growth in 2012. Locally we have seen the welcome return of corporate investment incommercial property, stimulated by long term confidence in Kent as a business location and a practical approach being adopted by planners.”
The research also highlights concerns that the UK property market, apart from central London, would continue to stagnate over the short-term. Attendees at the seminars expressed their concern that the volume of property transactions would continue to flatline in the face of stagnant property prices and a funding freeze.
In sharp contrast to this negative outlook, respondents said they expected their relationship with funders to improve over the short-term. Crowe Clark Whitehill’s survey also reveals that while delegates broadly believed that the government was implementing the right economic policies for the country, they are of the opinion that not enough is being done to stimulate the housing market.
Keith Newman added: “Interestingly, the survey showed a clear divide with just over half of respondents agreeing that the UK tax regime factored in their property investment decisions, while the remaining participants did not think it was relevant. However, it was widely acknowledged that there is a need to keep up to date with the tax regime inorder to manage a property portfolio as tax efficiently as possible.”
The Maidstone property seminar was one in a series of national seminars by Crowe Clark Whitehill that was designed to help property owners and directors of property businesses, as well as property market advisers, maximise the value of their property holdings. Crowe Clark Whitehill’s Property and Construction team were joined by senior property specialists from Santander Corporate Banking, who delivered a presentation on the bankers’ perspective on lending to the property market.
For information on Crowe Clark Whitehill’s expertise in advising property owners and investors visit www.crowecw.co.uk.