UK Real Estate opportunities from the COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a number of key business issues to the fore which now need urgent attention, a business lunch heard yesterday.
This warning was made to property industry entrepreneurs, professionals and media taking part in Axiom Stone Solicitors’ Virtual Real Estate Lunch on Wednesday May 6.
The unique online meeting was the latest in the company’s firmly-established and popular series of Real Estate Business Lunches and was attended by over 100 participants.
Axiom Stone’s team of legal experts – Idnan Liaqat (Head of Real Estate), Toby Matthews (Real Estate Litigation), Claudine Lawrence (Corporate, Banking and Finance) and Rachel Lester (Employment) – addressed these business issues and said that despite lockdown and its practical difficulties they remained very busy and active, with a flow of new instructions.
Their current workload involved processing property deals, rent recovery, loans and bridging finance, and advising actively on staff furloughs, redundancies and what follows.
Three outside experts also contributed to the discussion.
PR consultant Adrian Pepper, of Pepper Media, emphasised, among other comments, that the Government was very concerned over a potential second spike in virus infections. He anticipated that the lockdown would be phased out with retail the first business sector to emerge from restrictions and entertainment, hospitality and leisure the last.
Neil Singer, of property technology specialists Singer Vielle, said that it was a shame that it has taken a crisis to force the property profession to adopt technology and take it more seriously. He foresaw that we would see significant changes to the manner in which the industry operated.
Meanwhile, Will Clough, of auctioneers Allsop, struck an optimistic note saying that the market was resilient and cash rich. Property auctions were proving to be very popular and of interest.
A number of questions and comments were put to the meeting and discussed, covering issues such as landlord/tenant relationships, rent freezes, valuations and yields, worker locations and frequency of real estate transactions going forward.
Axiom Stone Chairman Jonathan Metliss, who hosted the meeting, said: “Axiom Stone are truly excited by the success of the lunch, and the support and interest shown, which covered such a wide spectrum of relevant topics. This is yet another tangible example of the company’s growing reputation and force as a real estate legal practice.”
It is proposed and hoped that the next lunch in the series will be held face to face on Wednesday 8 July, if safe to do so. Otherwise, it will take place as a virtual sequel to this successful forum.
A recording of the lunch is available to watch below: