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The new normal? by Robert Maxey BSc (Hons) MRICS head of Business Space at heb Chartered Surveyors

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - The new normal?  by Robert Maxey BSc (Hons) MRICS head of Business Space at heb Chartered SurveyorsI am often asked ‘How is the market, and more importantly when will things start to improve?’ To be fair, there are far cleverer people than me who can’t agree on the answer to this, and I am certainly not going to start ascribing significant levels of accuracy to my crystal ball!

I recall one of the major banks hosting a seminar in 2007 under the title of ‘The Credit Crunch - What is It & What Will It Mean For You?.’

My recollection is that they were then indicating a sharp dip followed by moderate, steady  recovery to a point where things were back to ‘normal’ sometime mid 2011!

I think the truth is that neither myself nor anyone else really knows when the market will recover.
For every week of encouraging market activity there inevitably follows a subdued week.

As a ‘glass ½ full’ person by nature I do genuinely think recovery will follow.
This is an entrepreneurial, capitalist country by nature and I believe the drive to achieve will inevitably produce recovery, even if not to the overheated levels seen pre Credit Crunch.

One of my colleagues remains more pessimistic and is fond of proclaiming that current conditions reflect ‘the new normal’. His view is that things are unlikely to change for better or worse in the short or even medium term, and those waiting for improvement need to change their mind-set and simply ‘get on with it’ assuming no change.

To be fair my colleague is involved predominantly in retail property, and even the most casual observer will have noted how the internet and other technology has changed retailing forever. As HMV and Blockbuster have found to their cost, people are now happy to buy from their armchair rather than in a shop.

From my position of dealing with business space more generally, I take a more hopeful view. People will always need places to do business, and even internet retailers require call centres, warehousing and distribution space to run an effective business.

Time will tell whether my colleague or myself is proved right, however in either case we are both agreed that the best thing we can do is to roll up sleeves and get stuck in!

No action and a ‘wait and see’ approach will only lead to further stagnation

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 19th April 2013 (updated 26/04/2013)

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