Overall for us recruiters the current market remains relatively good, and as ever there are strong regional and sector differences. An area we are noticing major growth is the traditional property consultancies moving into some of the traditional construction consultancy domains. It usually starts by an expansion of the Building Surveying team into Project Management, but their reach is extending. We know that most of the top 10 property consultants have ambitious expansion plans in this area, and we have recruited for these businesses in Project Management & Quantity Surveying in the recent past.
The retail market is generally still under a certain amount of pressure, although within this market certain retailers are continuing to expand their operations, whilst others are changing their focus into a smaller number of key stores.
How this is panning out into the perspective of a property/construction consultancy providing services to this is area generally translates into a reasonably buoyant market. It is now the case that the vast majority of retailers currently outsource these functions rather than utilising their own in-house team. Because retailer margins are still being squeezed they are cost conscious so salary levels of construction professionals providing services to the sector are below average for the general market, vacancies tend to be fulfilled on a replacement basis, a similar pattern is in place for estate management.
Commercial remains very strong in the prime end of the market in the most desirable locations, for both offices and industrial, the secondary locations remain subdued. The picture is different from location to location but we have noticed the largest amount of development and investment in the three major cities of London, Birmingham and Manchester in the office market. The industrial market remains very strong in the ‘golden triangle of logistics’ in the Midlands.
The residential market has been less busy over the last 12 months in London, that said Student Accommodation and PRS continues to grow quickly. Many London developments have slowed down, but regionally Birmingham and Manchester have not felt this as strongly, if at all. The West Midlands recorded the UK’s highest residential property increases over the last 12 months of 5.8% on average.