Mid-way through this decade and, appropriately enough, property agents, commentators and those with development interests in this and other regional commercial property markets are viewing 2015 as a fulcrum year.
It’s the point at which, relative to the load and effort property businesses have put in since 2010, the positions we have taken can be turned to our advantage this year and support us through the remaining years of the decade and into the 2020s.
Since the early years of this present decade, Cambridge agents have been focused on 2015 for a plethora of reasons and reviewing the predictions of peer agents for this coming year, you’ll not find anything different in my own reading of the runes.
There are the known unknowns such as the outcome of May’s General Election and the confusing ping-pong nature of the UK’s recovery; fresh uncertainty about Eurozone and the extent to which the European Central Bank can carry on underpinning the viability of the Zone and individual economies within its sphere of influence; the volatility of financial markets with concern about the sources of international capital against the backdrop of global conflict and strife.
Big picture stuff indeed. But looking around at a more micro measure of matters which directly affect commercial property issues there are our known knowns. There’s the increasing appeal of regional centres such as Cambridge and Leeds, for instance, as viable alternatives to London and its traditional fringes; the change in the way we shop, especially for groceries, which gives exciting opportunities in logistics and distribution; labour, skills and material shortages in the sector; land supply and planning pressures.
Bringing it acutely back to Cambridge, corporate moves in the biotech, pharmaceutical and technology sectors are all part of a very mixed bag of known knowns in 2015.
The corporate and boardroom changes extend to the property sector, indeed my own firm whose news about the acquisition of two well-known and highly respected Cambridge property companies was announced in a regional media scoop by this very organ on only the second trading Monday of this month.
So 2015 will be the year which will see property interests enact strategies and deploy tactics to ensure they lever themselves in to the best position during this fulcrum year. Next month sees us enter the new Chinese year, which is the year of the goat. Personality traits attributed to those born in the year of the goat are being prone to worries and also feeling the need to be loved and protected. No kidding!