Midlands Engine Boosting Property Development Investment

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The Midlands Engine initiative is helping to boost property development investment across the midlands region of England.

Property developers say the Midlands Engine initiative is having a very positive effect with more than half (51 per cent) planning to boost investment across the region over the next two years, according to new research from finance specialist Together.

Their optimism is a vote of confidence for the Midlands Engine – a coalition of councils, combined authorities, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), universities and businesses across the region – which is targeting building at least 600,000 new homes over 15 years across the Midlands.

The vast majority of developers taking an interest in the Midlands Engine initiative plan residential property schemes, with 83 per cent of developers saying they believe the biggest opportunities are in building houses, while 80 per cent see the biggest opportunities in development of flats.

However, nearly half of developers (48 per cent) are concerned about the property market downturn and 41 per cent worry about a lack of available sites in the Midlands, meaning the Midlands Engine initiative may have further challenges to face if it is to reach its target.

Andrew Charnley, head of corporate relationships at Together, said: ‘The Midlands Engine has clearly struck a chord with property developers who are very positive about the initiative and the huge potential it offers for the region, which is already home to around 800,000 large and small businesses.

‘Their bullishness is more than just warm words with more than half saying they’re planning to increase investment across the region substantially over the next two years.

‘However, our research uncovered challenges in turning their optimism into reality in the shape of suitable sites and conditions across the property market. Access to finance is also important and is an area where we are determined to play our part by taking a flexible approach to meeting developers’ funding requirements and working to meet tough deadlines.’

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