It’s such a cliché but I really can’t believe it’s already the end of March. It’s also an excuse because, aside from wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year of the Rabbit, this our first broadcast of 2023.
So please accept my apologies in advance that this update is longer than usual; a testament to how productive our industry has been in Q1 despite the backdrop of challenges the media insists on incessantly reminding us of. So as not to overwhelm you with too much of a good thing I’ve broken it into 2 Parts with Part 2 to follow after the Easter break. I hope you’ll find it relevant and useful.
Part 1: Quarterly Update
It’s been a long Winter and the sentiment towards the end of 2022 coupled with the timing of Chinese New Year (being so close to Christmas) had us anticipating a quieter start to the year.
Momentum in Manchester, a looming end of Help-to-Buy deadline and activity at higher values (particularly for secured lending) left us far from idle though. The condensed holiday seasons also provided a good opportunity to prepare for our Asia Tour in March, sharpen up our growing UK operations and generally gear up for the year ahead.
There was a noticeable change in the air in February as 2023 shook off the uncertainty and malaise of late 2022. Manchester continues to thrive and our regular presence there gave us a welcome shot of optimism: the developers and agents pushing forward in their usual confident manner. In particular Select Property Group’s One Port Street launch has got off to a flying start, FEC are consistently gaining ground at Victoria Riverside while Buy Association are bullish on Stockport.
March saw PCB out in full force in Asia: supporting events in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. British Land, Regal homes, Berkeley Homes, Mount Anvil, Barratt Homes, JLL and Savills are a few names whose events we were pleased to be involved with. While results on the day of the events themselves could be a little sporadic, momentum is gathering in the market and that ground swell is leading to a consistent stream of deals being done.
Berkeley Homes epitomised the generality of market activity with a their 2 week Mega-Exhibition on the 100th Floor of Kowloon’s ICC, showcasing a variety of 24 different developments. The event generated great energy and interest in the market, raising the profile of the UK property market for the whole industry. British Land’s official launch of the Founding, its poster child for their 53 acre regeneration of Canada Water, reinforced the incredible quality and sheer magnitude of projects we are seeing come from the UK nowadays and we’re excited to have a front row seat as that Masterplan unfolds over the next 10 years.
Counterintuitively (given the recent turmoil in the mortgage market), secured lending work continues to keep us busy as individuals and companies restructure their finance to adapt to the newly emerging landscape. We’re in the privileged position of representing the main players when it comes to overseas banks in Asia and I had the pleasure of catching up with DBS, OCBC, UOB and MayBank during my trip. It was great to observe a general appetite amongst Asian lenders for casting their lending nets wider than the traditional Zones 1-4 of London and we look forward to supporting them into 2023 and beyond…
Part 2- The Old Normal? (coming soon)…
Sam was educated at the University of Sheffield as well as Griffiths University in Brisbane, Australia. He gained professional experience in London real estate before joining PCB in 2012. His specialisations include: overseas investors purchasing new and established property, real estate finance and commercial property investment work.