A year of growth, uncertainty and positive demographic change

7 December 2017

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2017 turned out to be a very good year, but it has to be said that it was extremely difficult to predict due to the backdrop of uncertainty that swung almost constantly like a pendulum. The property world is not well inclined to uncertainty and we have had this for some time. Unfortunately going forward this will remain the case.

That said, Cardiff in particular has demonstrated almost unprecedented growth with positive demographic change, enhancement of the city core and new institutional ownership showing commitment to the city and wider area. 

I am proud our teams were involved with some of the key transactions that have taken place; notable was our role for Cardiff University where the Business Space team led by Ben Bolton successfully acquired new accommodation at Central Square for the School of Journalism.

Having waited for many years for prime residential land to start coming through the system, we have at last witnessed fruit for the years of effort and investment made by our land owner clients. Our residential Development Land team led by our Chairman Michael Lawley has been heavily committed on delivering the first site disposals at the major 7,000 unit Plasdŵr development in north-west Cardiff, as well as progressing substantial land disposals in Oxfordshire, west Berkshire, Carmarthenshire, and the Vale of Glamorgan.

All our teams are busy and I believe will remain so looking forwards to the year ahead. The development of Brexit will affect all of us, but we continue only to concentrate on things we can deliver ourselves, which is dedication to our loyal client base in the service we offer, and that we remain astute to the sensitivities of the markets as they unfold to the circumstances thrown in their path.  

The Leekes Retail and Leisure Group have substantial property assets within the group and have engaged Andrew West to appeal against rating assessments on these properties since 2010. We have consistently been impressed by Andrew's knowledge of the property market and his negotiating skills have been exceptional. Given Andrew's outstanding performance, we would not hesitate to recommend Andrew to any business large or small seeking to appeal their rates liabilities.

Mike Fowler, Group Finance Director, Leekes Group