The BPF-Grosvenor Property Leader Sentiment Survey for the UK in 2016

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1 The BPF-Grosvenor Property Leader Sentiment Survey for the UK in 2016 With a new Government approaching the end of its first year in power, an impending London Mayoral election, an EU Referendum and devolved parliamentary elections on the horizon, the start of 2016 seemed like a good time to take the temperature of the real estate industry, and to launch the inaugural British Property Federation (BPF) and Grosvenor Sentiment Survey. The survey was conducted from November to December 2015 and was based on the views of 122 BPF members. It took place against the backdrop of slowing global economic growth, rising geopolitical uncertainty and elevated financial market volatility, but before these factors intensified at the start of 2016, the impact of which is not reflected in the results. Notwithstanding this turbulence, the underlying economic indicators for the UK economy have remained stable and the results showed that in the context of a certain amount of political uncertainty, there are high levels of confidence in the expected performance of the UK economy and the UK's real estate sector over the coming year. Optimism for business growth comes with plans to expand development activity and investment. Two thirds believe their company s financial performance will be better than last year s, and 59% of owners and investors intend to increase investment. This short term confidence, with in some cases higher levels of gearing to support investment, comes with a positive view of credit conditions, which in turn are reflected in recent figures from the Bank of England showing credit growth coming back into line with GDP growth. Property leaders short-term optimism is balanced by a relatively less positive, but still optimistic, medium term view of the country s likely economic performance and the sector's growth, and a clear view emerges of the challenges facing the industry in the next five years. High construction costs and the planning system are seen to pose the greatest challenges to the industry. The uncertainty caused by the UK s possible exit from the EU is viewed by owners and investors as a top three challenge to their business in a view expressed before the date for a referendum had been set. Industry plans for new investment are backed by continued enthusiasm for the residential market. The survey indicated that the UK's residential sector is most likely to deliver the best financial returns in the next 12 months, closely followed by the office and industrial markets. Policy makers should recognise that great places are those where people can both live and work, and maintain a focus on measures to unlock high quality commercial development alongside new homes. In spite of high pricing and external risks, London is set to be the most popular destination in the country for new investment this year by some margin. The Midlands is expected to be the second most popular location for new investment, on a par with the South East & Anglia and ahead of the North West. Interest in the Midlands may be driven by an appetite for industrial space and the Government s devolution agenda. Scotland is more likely than anywhere else to see a decrease in investment by BPF members. Scotland has seen a number of significant policy changes recently, in the Tenancies Scotland Bill, changes to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, and changes to empty property rates for industrial properties. With the spotlight on London ahead of the Mayoral election, the single biggest ask from the industry to boost housing supply is that the next Mayor assembles and sells developable land to deliver new homes. The second biggest ask is a commitment to work with boroughs to unlock investment in new rental homes. The build to rent sector has attracted new interest and activity in the past couple of years, but will require greater political and policy support to unleash its potential. Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, BPF Peter Vernon, Chief Executive, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland WE HELP THE UK REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY GROW AND THRIVE

2 BPF-Grosvenor Property Leader Sentiment Survey 2016 Findings March 2016

3 Introduction The British Property Federation (BPF) has collaborated with Grosvenor and asked Ipsos MORI to contact BPF members - property owners, investors and advisors - for their views on prospects for the UK s real estate sector in the year ahead and beyond. Ipsos MORI was responsible for online fieldwork only. All analysis, interpretation and reporting of the survey results were carried out by the BPF and Grosvenor. Out of a total of 402 BPF members, 122 took part in the survey. Full details can be found in the technical note. Page 2

4 Sectors in which you operate or advise Q: Please let us know which of the following property sectors your company currently operates or advises in? 79% 72% 76% 76% 63% 56% 67% 45% 53% 53% 47% Advisor Owner / Investor 30% 28% 19% 13% 13% Residential Office Retail Industrial Student accommodation Hotel Healthcare Other On average, members operate or advise in 4 sectors Base: Property Owners/Investors: N=64, Advisors: N=58. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 3

5 Confidence in the UK s economic prospects short & medium term Q: How confident do you feel about the UK s economic prospects in the next 12 months and 5 years? 88% 85% 69% 57% Confident (total) Not Confident (total) Net confidence 2% 11% Next 12 Months Next 5 Years Base: All participants: N=122. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 4

6 Confidence in the UK real estate sector short & medium term Q: How confident are you for the performance of the UK real estate sector in the next 12 months and 5 years? 88% 84% 54% 35% Confident (total) Not Confident (total) Net confidence 4% 19% Next 12 Months Next 5 Years Base: All participants: N=122. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 5

7 Company s financial performance in 2016 Q: Looking ahead at 2016, do you think your company's financial performance will be better, worse or the same as 2015? 66% 53% Better than 2015 (total) Worse than 2015 (total) Net confidence 12% Financial Performance Don t know = 1% Base: All participants: N=122. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 6

8 Sector predicted to experience the best financial return in 2016 Q: Which one of the following UK property sectors do you believe will perform best in terms of financial return in the next 12 months? Residential 26% Office 21% Industrial 20% Retail 7% Student accommodation 7% Healthcare 4% Hotel 2% None of these sectors 1% Don't know 12% Base: All participants: N=122. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 7

9 Development and investment in 2016 Q: Is your company planning to increase or decrease its development activity, or keep it the same in 2016? Development Activity 10% 28% 60% Decrease Remain the same Increase Development Activity: Don t know = 2% Base: Property Owners/Investors that develop: N=60. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Q: Is your company planning to be a net investor or divestor in property assets in 2016, or keep investment the same? Net Investor or Divestor 16% 22% 59% Net divestor Neither a net investor or divestor Net investor Investment: Don t know = 3% Base: Property Owners/Investors: N=64. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 8

10 Financial gearing in 2016 Q: In 2016, is your company planning to increase or decrease its financial gearing, or keep it the same? Financial Gearing 16% 56% 23% Decrease Remain the same Increase Do not gear = 5% Base: Property Owners/Investors: N=64. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 9

11 Investment by sector in 2016 Q: In which, if any of the following property sectors is your company planning to increase or decrease investment in 2016? Increase investment Decrease investment Residential Office Retail Industrial Hotel Student accommodation Healthcare Increase investment 36% 33% 27% 27% 13% 11% 8% No change in investment 22% 23% 23% 19% 16% 17% 9% Decrease investment 17% 13% 13% 3% 5% 2% 2% Don t know: residential 3%, office 2%, retail 2%, hotel 5%, student accommodation 2%, healthcare 3% Not applicable: residential 22%, office 30%, retail 36%, industrial 52%, hotel 63%, student accommodation 69%, healthcare 78% Base: Property Owners/Investors: N=64. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 10

12 Investment by location in 2016 Q: Where does your company plan to increase or decrease investment in the next 12 months? 53% 33% 33% 25% 19% 11% 23% 23% 8% 6% 27% 23% 23% 2% 2% 5% 16% 16% 14% 28% 8% 5% 20% 6% 14% 9% 9% 2% 2% 2% Increase investment No change in investment Decrease investment Greater London South East & Anglia Midlands North West North & Yorkshire Scotland South West & Wales Northern Ireland Other EU countries Countries outside the EU Don t know: SE & Anglia 2%, Midlands 2%, NW 2%, North & Yorkshire 2%, Scotland 3%, SW & Wales 2%, N. Ireland 3%, other EU countries 2%, countries outside EU 3% Not applicable: Greater London 16%, SE & Anglia 36%, Midlands 38%, NW 48%, North & Yorkshire 52%, Scotland 52%, SW & Wales 52%, N. Ireland 77%, other EU countries 67%, countries outside EU 80% Base: Property Owners/Investors: N=64. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 11

13 Owner / investor challenges in 2016 Q: How challenging do you think these factors will be on your company over the next 12 months? 67% 56% 61% 48% 42% 36% 36% 28% 11% 13% 17% 9% 0% 0% 6% 3% Challenging (total) Not challenging (total) 25% 27% 36% 28% Net challenging 67% 69% 73% 72% High construction costs The planning system Uncertainty caused by potential EU exit Low availability of skills and talent Insufficient supply of developable land The tax regime High cost of credit Low availability of credit Neither challenging or not challenging: high construction costs 22%, the planning system 27%, uncertainty caused by potential EU exit 28%, low availability of skills and talent 34%, insufficient supply of developable land 23%, the tax regime 39%, high cost of credit 16%, low availability of credit 20% Don t know: uncertainty caused by potential EU exit 5%, low availability of talent 3%, insufficient supply of developable land 5%, the tax regime 5%, high cost of credit 5%, low availability of credit 5% Base: Property Owners/Investors: N=64. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 12

14 Advisors challenges for the sector in 2016 Q: How challenging you think these factors will be on the UK real estate sector over the next 12 months? 72% 67% 66% 66% 64% 52% 57% 53% 40% 41% 41% 7% 2% 12% 17% 12% 22% 19% 26% 7% 33% 22% 24% Challenging (total) Not challenging (total) Net challenging 47% High construction costs The planning system Insufficient supply of developable land Low availability of skills and talent The tax regime Uncertainty caused by potential EU exit Low availability of credit High cost of credit Neither challenging or not challenging: high construction costs 21%, the planning system 31%, insufficient supply of developable land 22%, low availability of skills and talent 26%, the tax regime 33%, uncertainty caused by potential EU exit 40%, low availability of credit 40%, high cost of credit 28% Don t know: insufficient supply of developable land 2%, the tax regime 2%, low availability of credit 2%, high cost of credit 3% Base: Advisors: N=58. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 13

15 Summary of challenges for 2016 Owners/Investors Q: How challenging do you think these factors will be on your company over the next 12 months? Advisors Q: How challenging you think these factors will be on the UK real estate sector over the next 12 months? Net challenging figures shown 66% 66% 56% 48% 22% 17% 40% 9% 52% 41% 0% 0% 7% Advisors Owners / Investors 24% 67% 69% High construction costs The planning system Uncertainty caused by potential EU exit Low availability of skills and talent Insufficient supply of developable land The tax regime High cost of credit Low availability of credit Base: Property Owners/Investors: N=64, Advisors: N=58. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 14

16 How the London Mayor should increase housing supply Q: What one thing do you think the next Mayor of London should do to increase housing supply? Assemble and sell developable public land 25% Work with boroughs to unlock new investment in build to rent 16% Invest more in social housing 14% Work with boroughs to accelerate housing estate regeneration 12% Invest more in infrastructure 9% Apply penalties and incentives to boroughs to meet housing targets 8% Create more Housing Zones 4% Set a fixed target for affordable housing units on new sites 1% Other = 5%, Don t know = 3%, Not applicable = 2% Base: All participants: N=122. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 15

17 UK government policy requiring change Q: Thinking about any UK government policy that may impact the UK real estate sector, which, if any, do you believe should be singled out for change? (spontaneous responses) 19% 18% 12% 8% 4% 3% 3% % of responses Tax Planning system Business rates PRS / BTR Infrastructure Affordable housing Starter homes Category of response Base: Responses. <5 responses not shown. Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 16

18 UK government policy requiring change Q: Thinking about any UK government policy that may impact the UK real estate sector, which, if any, do you believe should be singled out for change? (spontaneous responses) High levels of SDLT and other taxes on higher value residential should be brought back to sensible levels The planning system and legislation to support the PRS sector New Stamp Duty rules for small BTL buyers Affordable housing policy The delay to investment caused by an overly complex planning system which is also trying to gather taxation like CIL Help to Buy needs to be changed to shift the focus away from home ownership They should commit to major infrastructure projects and stop delaying decision making e.g. Heathrow, Crossrail 2, High Speed 2 Public land release for development The EU referendum, which will determine a good deal of the investment strategies for the service-based economy, which is a principal user of office space in central and suburban London Fieldwork dates: 24/11/15-24/12/15 Page 17

19 Technical note The British Property Federation (BPF) has collaborated with Grosvenor and asked Ipsos MORI to contact BPF members 64 property owners / investors and 58 advisors - for their views on prospects for the UK s real estate sector in the year ahead and beyond. Ipsos MORI carried out the fieldwork. All analysis, interpretation and reporting of the survey results were carried out by the BPF and Grosvenor. Figures are rounded to whole numbers and data is un-weighted. The audience surveyed via online survey were The BPF members, with a final sample size of 122 survey participants. Fieldwork was conducted between 24/11/15-24/12/15. Page 18

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