Confidence Key To Moving Market On

Quit the inertia, and have some confidence in the property market, says Marc Ballard. With some confidence and positive action, the sector can make a positive contribution to the East Midland's economy.

The other day, I was talking to a friend who manages a luxury car showroom. He told me they had stopped putting the daily news on screens in the showroom - because it rocked customer confidence.

He said that business people coming in to buy a car with a nice fat bonus would take one glimpse of the news with its doom and gloom on interest rates, flimsy GDP and the UK's struggling economy, and they would be out the door!

The news, he said, was like a reality check. They lost their confidence, change their minds - and would walk across the forecourt to their old car.

The key word here is: confidence. I believe that if we all had a little more of it, the UK could steer its way out of the doldrums.

And that goes for the property sector too. I believe that we need to instil confidence in order to give the property market a shot in the arm.

Like the car showroom, the property sector has people looking to buy, build or move - but can take just one little thing to change their minds.

I believe that it's down to agents to help and support them through the decision making process, giving added value in terms of feasibility and taking a look at their needs for the future.

With some confidence-boosting projection, occupiers will feel more assured.

Commercial property values have been nudging slightly higher this year, with average values in the UK's commercial property sector now up by some 17.5% since their lows in 2009.

So it's not all bad, but we all have a responsibility to keep the property sector moving locally.

Five years ago, you could show someone around a couple of properties. They would select one. It would go into lawyer's hands and within a month, the building would be taken and the deal done.

I wish I could say that was the case now.

As well as a lack of confidence with occupiers, I wonder whether agents are less positive about the advice they are giving because of the market or the inertia in the state of the economy.

In Derby and Nottingham there are companies that have had long standing requirements which have stagnated due to either a lack of confidence or a dwindling supply of good quality stock. This would have been unheard of in years gone by. I describe it like there is noise around but no-one is playing any music.

We have got the opportunity now to instil confidence back into the market. We are the country which is actually taking a stance at trying to get debt levels down and develop a balanced economy.

European and American markets are currently suffering due to their less strict school policies. I believe that the UK commercial and industrial activity will be in a strong position to buck this trend shown by Europe and America, so long as we have confidence in our convictions.

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