PROPERTY businesses in East Anglia remain bullish in their investment intentions, with nearly one third (29%) planning to increase investment over the next three to six months, according to a new survey.

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But the latest Property Matters report from Lloyds TSB Commercial says that, while the positive investment intentions are good news in an otherwise flat property market, small to medium-sized property businesses in the region face continued challenges.

Businesses in East Anglia reported a reduction in confidence, minus 1.2 to minus 5.4 – below the national average of minus 0.4 and in stark contrast to the London property sector, where businesses reported an increase in overall market confidence to plus 15.

Firms in the region expect the experience of falling values over the past 12 months to continue but residential letters are set to remain strong.

The prospects for commercial and residential property SMEs have aligned for the coming period, with both showing a net score of plus 9. More than half (54%) of commercial and nearly two thirds (60%) of residential businesses believe performance will remain at its current level.

Barry Coote, relationship manager for Lloyds TSB Commercial in East Anglia, said: “It continues to be a challenging time for those operating in the property sector in East Anglia.

“It is welcome news that 29% of SMEs in the region plan to increase their financial commitment over the next three to six months.”

But he added: “SMEs continue to cite the challenging UK economy and local planning policy issues as influencing their decisions to invest.

“We continue to work closely with our customers and have a team of dedicated property managers focused on supporting and advising businesses operating in the residential and commercial sectors.

“The ‘Lloyds Funding for Lending’ initiative aims to foster an environment where businesses can invest for future growth, whilst taking advantage of low cost borrowing. This will help businesses across a broad spectrum of industries, including those operating in the property market.”

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