East Anglia: Confidence on the increase among smaller property businesses, says Lloyds TSB Commercial survey

Barry Coote, relationship director at Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking in East Anglia

Barry Coote, relationship director at Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking in East Anglia - Credit: Archant

Confidence among the region’s small to medium-sized property firms is at its highest for two years, according to a Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking survey.

Nearly half expect activity to increase in the next six months and nearly a quarter believe their portfolio will exceed previous expectations.

The latest Property Matters report from Lloyds TSB Commercial found that 42% of small to medium sized property businesses in East Anglia are confident that the market is recovering and that they will see an uplift in activity. This contrasts heavily with the flat market conditions reported by firms six months ago.

The positive attitude amongst local property SMEs has resulted in a significant upturn of confidence in the region since last summer, up from minus 5.4 to plus 29.

The report also reveals that there has been a shift in focus from investment growth to maintenance, with 81% of businesses in the region keeping their overall investment plans for the next three to six months at their current level. This contrasts with firms in London, where net a positive balance of 46 intend to increase their property investments.

The significant growth seen in the residential sector in the past six months is leading a renewed sense of optimism in SMEs, with the report showing that residential lettings remains the region’s strongest performing sector, with 60% of East Anglia property SMEs focusing their attention on this area.

Barry Coote, relationship director at Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking in East Anglia, said: “Confidence in the property sector is growing and is at its highest levels since our inaugural Property Matters survey was conducted in 2011, with a resurgent housing market encouraging confidence for SMEs throughout East Anglia.

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“As a result it is encouraging to see that 42% of the region’s businesses are predicting an uplift in activity across the sector, with increasing consumer demand for new build properties helping to drive growth in the residential market.

“SMEs in the region that are looking to capitalise on this positive outlook and require financial support need a lender with extensive sector experience, and our team of dedicated relationship managers is able to offer guidance and funding support to firms operating in the residential and commercial property markets in East Anglia.

“We utilise the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme to offer discounts of 1% to all SMEs for the life of their loans, and with our “Lloyds Funding for Lending” offer we have committed £3.3billion to our SME customers since its launch in September 2012.”