Our Association

The SPR has been representing property researchers since 1987.  Their seminars debate topical issues and the networking opportunities are unrivalled.  (They also count towards CPD hours.)  Junior analysts are able to rub shoulders with Heads of Research Departments often in informal situations.  SPR often collaborates with other associations to offer events with a wider appeal and is a member of the Property Industrial Alliance group.  Site visits are arranged for members to see 'behind the scenes' of major developments and SPR members also have the opportunity to access discounted rates to attend related courses and conferences organised by similar organisations.

Report on recent SPR event

Joint SPR/IPF Outlook for UK Property 2018, 9 January 2018
Allen & Overy

A Crème Brulée Market?


This major event in the property investment calendar was held on Tuesday, 9 January 2018 at Allen & Overy, London, E1 and chaired by Andy Martin, Chief Executive, BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Why is the current UK property market like a crème brulée? According to Tony Brown, Chief Investment Officer at M&G Real Estate, they are both hard and sweet on the surface but soft and sticky underneath. On the sweet side, returns are holding up well, with the MSCI/IPD index set to breach 10% for 2017, something few predicted at the start of the year. UK property still looks reasonably priced, and the recent weakness of secondary asset values could provide opportunities in the years to come – as long as the worst kind of Brexit can be avoided.  But on the sticky side, Brown cautioned that market demand is heavily dependent on overseas investors, particularly those from Asia. Their appetite could be quelled by new restrictions on exporting Chinese capital and the end to the exemption from capital gains tax for investors into the UK.

Fredrick Nerbrand, Multi-asset strategist at BlackRock, believes that inflation may be the biggest sticking point for global asset markets in the months ahead.  GDP may still be moving forward in most regions, but the momentum looks set to slow, especially if interest rate hikes gather pace in the US, which could happen if Trump’s fiscal expansion feeds through to prices.  European equity markets should still benefit from liquidity, but the same can’t be said of credit markets, where yields are relatively low and there is little room for manoeuvre. Real estate could be in a similar boat, as evidenced by the growing hunt for yield in some markets.

For the UK economy as a whole, the B-word continues to cast its inevitable shadow.  Loretta O’Sullivan, Group Chief Economist at the Bank of Ireland, noted its twin influences – a weak pound and growing caution in the minds of both the UK consumer and its businesses.  The latter is clearly limiting growth prospects compared to pre-referendum forecasts. However, all of the speakers verged towards a moderately favourable settlement as the most likely outcome of Brexit.

Tim Horsey

Chair's blog

Since taking over as SPR Chair at the Society’s AGM in early November, the last three months have whizzed past!

Firstly, well done to Vanessa on delivering a great new website and a superb 30th Anniversary Conference in her year as Chair, while also keeping the regular socials, seminars and other events going. Last year’s series of tech seminars were also a highlight for the Society and its members.

Talking of highlights, my year in office kicked off with our hugely well-attended Annual Dinner, held at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall. The Society owes a debt of gratitude to Roger Bootle, who acted as ‘sponsor’ to allow us to make use of the venue. We are also hugely grateful for our two headline sponsors of the event, who have been supporting us for a number of years, Oxford Economics and Cobalt Recruitment. This year was the first year in which we had an After Dinner speaker, a model that seems to have been well-received and created a crescendo of excitement during the evening. Thank you also to our raffle prize contributors.

Since the Annual Dinner, the Committee has been working hard behind the scenes to get events up and running for 2018. We kick-started this year’s seminars with two joint events – the European Logistics with the ULI and the UK Property Outlook with the IPF.  Our next seminar, on March 8th, is the Presentation of the Nick Tyrrell Research Prize-winning paper. Look out for information about our upcoming retail seminar series, with the first event likely in late April. Before then, there will be a site visit to a large shopping centre. 9th March is the date for that one!

Apart from all the learning, we like to keep things social! The first social event of the year is in the diary and fully booked – King Pin Bowling – being held at the All Star Lanes on Brick Lane on Wednesday 21st February. If you have missed out, then the much-loved Annual Pub Quiz will also be upon us soon, so look out for information about that, on our events page.

Additionally, to keep up to date with happenings at past events, and to read blogs from committee members click here.

Finally, there is one other area, which has been touched upon at previous AGMs, which is finding a way for the Society to recognise new or particularly interesting applied research, conducted as part of a researcher’s day job and with a business purpose. This is wholly separate to the Nick Tyrrell Research prize fund (remind yourself of its purpose, previous winners and respond to the call for papers by clicking here), to which the SPR is one of three donor organisations.

As a Society it’s hugely important that we encourage the next generation of researchers, forecasters, strategists and analysts, as well as those who may already have been around a few years, to push the envelope. This may mean finding new ways of analysing markets or uncovering new insights, but importantly, they need to be ready to be applied to markets to help investors, developers, valuers, bankers, brokers and others better understand property markets. Please look out for more detailed information about a new SPR research prize along these lines.


Kiran Raichura
February 2018


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