Pegasus Group hosted a residential property roundtable with Midlands Insider last week gathering leaders from across the residential property sector to discuss how Brexit might impact business and look at where opportunities might arise.
Regional Director, Keith Fenwick and Associate (Economics), Richard Cook took part in the roundtable from Pegasus Group along with Andy Robinson, Chief Executive at Colmore Tang, Sue Simpson, Partner at Fieldfisher, Russell Crow, Regional Director at Richborough Estates, Mark Birks, Head of Land and Development at GVA, Simon Horan, Head of Midlands Business Residential at JLL, Kieran Majhail, Associate at BDP, Stuart Penn, Regional Managing Director at Lovell, Ben Leather, Regional Managing Director at Spitfire Bespoke Homes, Colette McCann, Head of Development at Birmingham City Council, David Morris, Planning Director at Catesby Estates, Glen Langham, Planning Director at Gallahger Estates, Reuben Bellamy, Planning Director at Lone Star Land, and Martin Install, Commercial Director at St Modwen Homes.
We are delighted that everyone was able to join us at Hotel du Vin in Birmingham to discuss the potential impact of Brexit on the residential sector.
Regional Director, Keith Fenwick reported:
“There’s been no indication of things getting quieter in the market. There are plenty of deals happening and on the consultancy side, activity levels are high. There are strong forward order books, and for all the current uncertainty, the industry is as busy as ever – whether that continues beyond 29 March probably depends on the nature of the UK’s exit.
One of the consequences of exiting the EU will be linked to the Common Agricultural Policy, and the way farmers receive funding around landscape maintenance. There’s also potentially an impact on Green Belt policy, and environmental legislation. With environmental legislation, the UK seems likely to benchmark at non-regression, and this could provide an opportunity to tailor environmental legislation more directly to the UK context moving forward. I think people would say that, in general, European led environmental initiatives have been a positive.”
Associate, Richard Cook reported:
One of the biggest areas of uncertainty around Brexit must be around the labour and skills supply – we’ve still got that target of 300,000 houses, not to mention reducing the productivity gap that exists between north and south. Another issue for construction is the replacement of older skilled workers.
Housing dominates the news agenda nationally, and maybe it is an area of opportunity for the UK to lead the way in modern methods of construction – I’ve lost count of the number of conferences I’ve been to where speakers have talked about the case for offsite construction, but a lot of it thus far does seem to be talk.
Now is definitely the time for the government and private sector to get together and develop solutions in this area, covering housing, jobs and skills, because even with the UK standard methodology of calculating housing need, we’ll be short of the 300,000 homes required.