Leading industry figures give their forecasts for the next 12 months. Part one
BE News asked some of the biggest names from across the built environment to share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities ahead. In the first of three instalments, 24 industry experts give their predictions for 2024:
Harvey M Soning, FRICS
Chairman, James Andrew International
We left 2023 in the midst of a downturn and some tough trading conditions. I think inflation is now under control, which will ease the pressure on interest rates, albeit I don’t see rates falling before 2025. 2024 is going to be a very interesting and potentially turbulent year. There are two important elections, our own in the UK and of course the election across the ‘pond’. I am not going to predict the outcome of either, but there will be uncertainty until these are resolved. We also have two wars continuing, both of which may have far reaching consequences. So, what does that mean for real estate?
With the elections and wars in the background, it seems likely that very few significant decisions will be made. Of course, I am still expecting some fallout from the interest rate increases and year-end valuations, which could see values fall and the banks seeking capital to reinstate LT’s. This could bring some distressed stock to the market and, with it, opportunities for the fleet of foot. Looking at the various sectors of the market, Prime Grade A offices will continue to thrive and the shortage of supply should see rents hit record highs. Those with lesser stock will see values declining and tenants will be difficult to secure. For the retail world, convenience shopping will remain strong, but the high street is still under pressure from the internet. Footfall on high streets is recovering to pre-pandemic levels, but they now seem to be primarily used for window or comparison shopping. Logistics will remain the golden sector as internet shopping continues to grow. We need more up-to-date distribution warehouses. Yields have moved as interest rates rise, but we can see rental growth in the sector.