AROUND 250 delegates filled the Trinity Park Conference Centre in Ipswich for the annual Property Seminar hosted by chartered surveyors Fenn Wright, law firm Birketts LLP and accountants PKF (UK) LLP.

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The objective of the wel-established event is to bring the East Anglian business community up to date with all significant commercial and residential property issues and related legal and tax topics.

Market research carried out at the seminar shows that when asked if the Government is doing enough for the property sector, 63% of delegates said no compared with last year’s seminar when 51% said no. In response to the question, how long before the commercial property market fully recovers? 56% last year thought it would be three to four years whereas this year 69% said it would be three or four years.

When posed the question, have residential property prices bottomed out? last year the majority were undecided, while this year just under 50% thought that prices had reached their lowest.

Fenn Wright consultant surveyor Mark Sargeantson said: “Maintaining economic and political stability are key factors for a sustainable and steady residential and commercial property market.

“The retail sector is facing unprecedented changes and revitalising town centres is a huge challenge for local authorities. Rental and capital values will inevitably fall in some town centres.

“Restructured and profitable house builders have funds available to purchase sites but limited stock to choose from.”

James Dinwiddy, a partner at Birketts, said: “Over the last year we have seen the property market become more argumentative from a legal perspective.

“Due to the nature of the market, landlords and tenants have been involved in increasing numbers of litigation cases as they seek to protect their investments or divest themselves of unnecessary liability.

“In order to increase their chance of winning these disputes vendors and purchasers, landlords and tenants need to be more aware of the legal detail of transactions.”

PKF Partner Peter Harrup said: “Our market research this year shows that there is still uncertainty in the sector although there is some encouragement in the residential property market.”

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