As expected, the pre-Budget report wasn't anything for property people to get excited about. Talking to property professionals across the Midlands in the last couple of days the general consensus seems to be a collective sigh of relief, as many were fearing, if not expecting, the introduction of taxes or other measures that would have hindered the market as it fights its way out of recession.
But after the initial relief, there is little euphoria, as the PBR was distinctly content-lite on incentives and many are surprised that, rather than boosting regeneration projects, the government is diverting money away to plug gaps in other areas. Still, empty business rate relief has been extended. Then again, as Gary Cardin, head of Drivers Jonas Birmingham (pictured right), points out: "The cap on properties over £18,000 means large property owners and significant new developments will receive no support. Anyone brave enough to think of building speculatively will think twice."
As one of the UK regions with the largest amount of big sheds, both built and planned, the Midlands could have done with some support here. Instead the property market will have to work harder to persuade occupiers - across all sectors - that it can deliver product on terms that are mutually beneficial. This is, admittedly, a steep learning curve for some, but, as the Chancellor has made it clear that they are on their own, it's a challenge they can - and undoubtedly will - step up to.