2024 Business Predictions: Steve Fernie, director of Armsons Barlow

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It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. 

It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.

Here we speak to Steve Fernie, director of Armsons Barlow.

I believe 2024 will be a pivotal year for both our country and the construction industry.

I anticipate continued growth in the construction industry, particularly with warehousing and logistic hubs, serviced office accommodation and Built-to-Rent (BTR) and Private Rental Sector (PRS) residential developments.

A major area of concern are town centres where there appear to be many empty retail units. Somehow a new purpose and use for these properties needs to be found or we as a country run the real risk of many of our town centres becoming ghost towns and lost for the next generation. To prevent this happening, I believe we have to have a more relaxed planning policy, which will allow these buildings to be re-purposed.

In terms of other predictions, I expect inflation to stabilise at 3%, which still remains above the government’s target. Interest rates will start to fall, but mortgages will remain

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