Each year, Business Link Magazine invites a select panel of the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.
And, while none of us possess a crystal ball, it is uncanny how accurate some of these forecasts have been over the years.
Here, we catch up with Johnny Dudgeon, Director and Head of Office at Savills Lincoln, to see what he feels 2018 will hold for readers across our region.
“In the rural sector, which impacts a large percentage of Lincolnshire, we believe that uncertainty will continue to dictate market sentiment into 2018 with greater efficiency, diversification and natural capital playing key roles in the long term. Near term, we believe farmland transactions in Lincolnshire will find Brexit a catalyst for change so it will be interesting to see how the market fares in 2018.
“In addition to post-Brexit arrangements for trade which still require clarity, a potential reduction in subsidy levels also present risks to profitability, specifically for those farms with marginally productive land. Less profitable businesses across Lincolnshire and the wider UK should find new ways to operate by becoming more efficient or diversifying income, albeit under new configurations.
“Longer term, with greater clarity on our trading position and the structure of subsidy, the outlook is encouraging, as certainty will engender recovery and opportunity. Renewed confidence in the sector will encourage a recovery in trading volumes post 2019 and a return to consistent capital growth across all sectors.”
“In the residential sector, we believe that people are beginning to build Brexit into their lives, and have seen a good level of enquiries as 2017 has progressed, which bodes well for 2018, adds Roo Fisher, head of residential sales at Savills Lincoln. “Our research analysts have taken the same view and have built it in to their five year forecasts, which show small incremental increases in property prices across the East Midlands over the next five years. The most noteworthy point is that Lincolnshire and the wider East Midlands is set to grow at more than twice the rate of London over the next five years with a predicted increase of 14.8 per cent, compared to 7.1 per cent in London.
“We have a list of applicants waiting to buy and homes which require little or no work in village hotspots such as Navenby and Bassingham are particularly sought after. Our advice to those thinking of selling would be to avoid hesitation and get on the market sooner rather than later in the New Year to take advantage of the high levels of demand we’re experiencing.
“We expect that the convenient commute into London from Newark and Grantham railway stations will continue to present a strong opportunity in 2018 with many buyers moving north from the capital. This, combined with the positive increase in property prices in the east midlands indicates that for those looking to sell, now is a good time to do so. The market is strong and demand is high with many of our applicants looking for their next move, but there is still an undersupply of available stock.”