Real estate markets past “peak uncertainty”, says Savills boss

14th March 2024 | Jack Oliver

Most real estate markets “appear to be past the moment of peak uncertainty”, the chief executive of Savills has said.

Mark Ridley said there are some early signs of underlying market improvements, which should set the course for a broader recovery during the second half of the year and into 2025.

This comes as the real estate services company releases its final results for 2023, during which it recorded a fall in group revenue of 3% to £2.24bn. The group’s underlying pre-tax profit also declined, falling 42% to £94.8m.

Savills said its management and consultancy businesses performed well, with revenues increasing by 11% to £899.5m and 4% to £459.8m, respectively.

In the firm’s UK commercial business, revenue declined by 15% in 2023 to £100.6m, which Savills said reflected fewer transactions in investment markets and more subdued leasing activity. The group said that just over £39bn of commercial property investments were traded in the UK in 2023, which was 41% lower than the previous year and 38% down on the five-year average. All commercial property sectors experienced lower investment volumes in 2023 compared to 2022, with the smallest being in retail (-12%).

In November, Savills completed the acquisition of Central London-based retail agency and lease consultancy firm Nash Bond.

Mark Ridley said: “Savills resilient performance in 2023 highlights the diversity and strength of our global business. In the context of extremely challenging real estate markets, which saw the lowest levels of transaction volumes for a decade, our less transactional businesses have provided a solid platform for the group with a resilient and growing earnings stream.”


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