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10th Annual Essex Property Conference Highlights ‘Cautious Optimism’ for Region’s Property Market

30 April 2018

More than half (54%) of delegates plan to acquire property in the next 12 months

A new poll of property owners and professionals undertaken at this year’s annual Essex Property Conference has shown that 29% of respondents are more positive about the sector now than 12 months ago. This is down from 63% in 2017, demonstrating that the market has become slightly more cautious over the past year.

Despite the plateau in optimism, an impressive 54% of respondents plan to acquire property in the next 12 months, a significant increase on last year where only 31% were planning to purchase property.

The Essex Property Conference, hosted jointly by estate agents and chartered surveyors Fenn Wright, Ellisons Solicitors and accountants BDO LLP, supported a positive outlook for both the commercial and residential property markets in Essex. The survey revealed almost a third (32%) of respondents expect commercial property values to increase within the next 12 months, and 36% predict residential property values within the same period to increase.

In its tenth year, the event was attended by over 200 delegates and took place at Weston Homes Community Stadium in Colchester on 25th April.

The event was chaired by Guy Longhurst, Senior Partner of Ellisons Solicitors, with expert speakers including Phil Eckersley from the Bank of England; Lewis Chambers, Commercial Partner at Fenn Wright; and Peter Harrup, Partner at BDO.

Guy Longhurst from Ellisons, said: “The annual property conference has become a key date in the diaries of all involved in the property sector in the Colchester and North Essex area. The event’s continued success is a testament to the strength and growth of this sector, as well as the reputation of Ellisons, Fenn Wright and BDO LLP as the firms that clients can trust for expert commentary and advice in respect of all property-related matters.”

Fenn Wright’s Lewis Chambers, commented: "Following the recent acquisition of Taylor and Co, in Chelmsford, and Newman Commercial, in Colchester, Fenn Wright is now able to offer the most compelling marketing option available to owners and occupiers of commercial property along the A12 corridor.

“The aggregate of the expanded teams’ knowledge, contacts and experience is generating fantastic results for our clients; property sales over the past year exceeded £40 million, and for the first time we have let in excess of a million square foot of commercial accommodation. We have also secured new lettings generating in excess of £7 million per annum of rental income; we anticipate the strong market conditions in this sector to continue through 2018.”

Peter Harrup from BDO ended by saying: “There are a few tax changes coming in next year which will impact companies across the region. These changes in legislation include capital gain tax threshold changes, inheritance tax and National Insurance payments on termination packages. It is crucial that businesses keep up to date with these and remain alert to the opportunities and risks they present, while putting their tax plans in place effectively.”