At a seminar with panellists from some of the world’s biggest property beasts – Lincoln Property Company; HB Reavis; and Skanska – all were upbeat in their prognosis for UK property.
The trio of companies all have substantial UK interests and reported that demand for homes and offices was strong.
Lincoln Property Company’s Troy Javaher talked about a different way of safeguarding a business, by focusing on repeat customers. “Our tenants in the US see what we produce with one building and they basically follow us to the next project that is relevant to them”.
Lincoln is the developer on the £750m Station Hill project in Reading which, on completion, will create 600,000 sq ft of offices and 1,000 homes. Javaher reported that the developer was already having conversations with US tech businesses who – like Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco and many before them – are attracted by Reading’s clustering of skilled tech workers, its close proximity to Heathrow and the quality of Berkshire life.
While the offices may have sound prospects, he believes that multi-family residential rental properties will prove to be the most resilient to any economic downturn that does result from Brexit. Lincoln owns and/or manages around 200,000 such units in the US but he reports that there is a chronic shortage of these types of homes across most European markets.