Professional Briefing: Q1, 2011

Welcome to the start of a new series of Place North West Professional Briefings, delivered each quarter in association with a cross-section of experts from the property community. This quarter we have briefings from Hill Dickinson, Mace Group, Grant Thornton and Reich Insurance. Please click on the headlines below to read the briefings in full. We hope you enjoy this new addition to Place's daily diet of news and features.


Budget response: meagre pickings for property

Tony Reddin, senior manager, Grant Thornton

It was pleasing to see that the Chancellor's budget last week contained a number of measures aimed specifically at the property industry. Whether they will be successful, or go far enough is a matter of opinion but it would appear that the Government see a revived and revitalised property market as key to fuelling the growth the Chancellor spoke about.

Competition time

Bill Chandler, legal director, Hill Dickinson

I don't want to worry everyone, but from next Wednesday, 6 April the property sector will be subject to full UK competition law for the first time. Until now, the Land Agreements Exclusion Order has exempted property agreements from the Competition Act prohibition on agreements which prevent, restrict or distort competition. However, the Exclusion Order was repealed in June 2010 with effect from 6 April 2011.

Outlook remains positive, in parts

Rob Ewen, director, Mace Group

The main challenge facing the construction industry in the North West is how we are going to emerge from this recession stronger and more resilient than before.

Insurance premiums start to soften

Nick Symes, head of department, property investors, Reich Insurance Brokers

Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, insurance claims frequencies were low, investment income was bountiful and these factors were reflected in cheaper premiums. This meant that there was a huge capacity and desire to underwrite risks which resulted in over-supply. This drove down the price of insurance further and so businesses enjoyed a succession of lower insurance costs.

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