New Year brings opportunities for the British property market

Partner: Gareth Owen
Partner: Gareth Owen
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Property lawyers at Sheffield law firm Hlw Keeble Hawson are predicting there will be plenty of opportunities to do deals this year, despite ongoing uncertainty in Europe.

The firm is basing its optimism on what it describes as a raft of substantial property deals in the last quarter of 2011.

Partner and commercial property specialist Gareth Owen, who has worked through three major recessions, says there will always be opportunities to exploit in the commercial property sector.

He cites one recent deal in which the firm helped a major client to acquire seven restaurant properties and negotiate a multimillion pound banking deal to fund further expansion.

“It’s true that, if the Eurozone collapses, bank lending could become even more scarce, however that restaurant deal saw the client negotiate two highly competitive offers from different banks – which shows that banks are willing to lend against the right proposition. The marketplace is still very active, underpinned by those who have access to cash and the nerve to invest,” says Mr Owen, who believes the residential development sector is “one to watch,” but says office construction is likely to remain static.

“Investors will be looking for projects with higher income yield and there is an ever-growing demand for new residential property,” he adds.