Property was the matter of the day when Members of the NIABT received a briefing on the Northern Ireland property market, with the focus on both the commercial and residential sectors.
Marie Hunt, Executive Director at CBRE and Tom McClelland, Housing Spokesperson at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors were the guest speakers at the March 2012 event.
Marie provided a comprehensive overview of the commercial property outlook for 2012, focusing on occupier, investment, development land and hotel markets. She highlighted issues such as a lack of consumer confidence, decreased credit opportunities for businesses and households and instability in the wider employment market as being contributing factors to the continuing downturn.
It was not all doom and gloom though and Marie did provide plenty of food for thought, particularly in relation to the tourism opportunities of 2012 and the possibility of devolving Corporation Tax to attract FDI.
Tom McClelland noted that many of the factors affecting the commercial sector were just as relevant for the residential side of the market. He did stress though that there are reasons to be cheerful and that the worst does now seem to be behind us – affordability for example is dramatically improved and the numbers of first time buyers are also on the rise.
We caught up with Tom and Marie after the briefing and you can find out more by listening to our audio interviews below:
Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale visited McClelland Salter Estate Agents today to take part in the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust’s (NIABT) Fellowship Programme.
The popular Fellowship Programme offers MLAs a unique opportunity to learn more about the day to day work of organisations in their local constituencies and to participate in a range of activities from the boardroom to the shop or factory floor.
Speaking after today’s programme, Brenda Hale MLA said: “This was a great opportunity to learn more about how the property market works and how organisations like McClelland Salter are adapting their work and approach to doing business in the current economic climate.
“As well as providing a good theoretical grounding, the practical element of today’s programme has helped me to understand how political representatives can support and encourage greater economic growth and development at a local level.
“The current financial downturn has been tough for businesses here and it has had a marked impact on the local property market. Today, I have viewed first-hand the resilience of one local company that is finding new and innovative methods of making its business work in an uncertain financial climate.
“Hopefully, upcoming opportunities for MLAs to take part in programmes in their own constituencies will help us all to make better and more informed decisions on policy and legislation as it relates to the local economy.”
The Fellowship Programme is open and available to all MLAs and participating members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust. Local Businesses who wish to find out more about the programme and benefits of membership can visit the NIABT website http://niabt.org
Notes to Editors:
About the NIABT
The Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) works to forge links with, and promote the exchange of knowledge and information between, local businesses and parliamentarians in Northern Ireland and in Europe. Open to businesses from all sectors and of all sizes, the NIABT organises activities including breakfast briefings, educational visits, fellowships and seminars and an annual European visit.
to provide Assembly Members (MLAs) with a better insight into how local businesses work, helping them to make informed judgements when reviewing Department policy and legislation relating to the local economy.
to improve the business community’s understanding of how the Assembly and devolution work and how policy and legislation is developed.