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: