The Property & Accommodation IndustriesThe property and accommodation sectors are made up of hundreds of trades with often provide specialist expertise or services to build, maintain or invest in homes, offices, infrastructure projects or repairs. These specialist companies are well regulated and depend upon many support services to function. For example, before a typical residential house can be built, bought or sold the services of a surveyor, valuer, architect, removal company and accountant may be needed to facilitate the process.
Investment in property and land represent one of the main asset classes. In the last few decades there have been many booms and busts in residential and commercial property across the world. Homeowners, private investors, landlords, Governments and large investment funds have all sought to profit from either capital growth or a decent rental yield. The relative demand and price of property in an economy is strongly related macro economic actors such as disposable income, inflation, property taxation and unemployment rates. For example, many governments have allowed and fostered home ownership policies as a way of creating economic growth and improving living standards.
There is no doubt that many people profited from property booms, that caused a rise in value of their home. Yet encouraging credit fuelled property boom has been criticised as creating a 'two-tier system'. Property rises mean many first-time buyers cannot afford to get onto the property ladder. As homes become more unaffordable, many young people are forced into rented accommodation. Much housing stock is bought and used as second homes and holiday homes as holidays lets. Eventually, something has got to give, and the market corrects itself for the over exuberance of the past. Sometimes property price crashes can be sudden and unexpected. At the moment, a long period of stagnation exists mirroring the continuing uncertainty in many Western economies
There is still strong demand for new and large commercial infrastructure projects, from high net worth individuals or cash rich Corporations. Areas like China, India and central European cities continue to flourish, despite the economic volatility of capital markets. Yet the value of any property or land is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. The collapse of house prices as a result of the sub-prime crisis in the US highlights the artificial nature of property valuation (especially in geographies where property owners borrow well in excess of their ability to repay from their incomes). In some countries people have a strong desire to own their own home. In other countries, people prefer the flexibility of renting.
Demand for general commercial property has suffered considerably in line with the economic downturn. Many organisations cannot afford to maintain expensive leases for offices located in city centres. Crime rates have increased in areas of stagnation, forcing many firms to implement better building security procedures. As recessionary pressures continue to weaken retailers so the demand for retail outlet units on the high street and general office space has fallen. The so-called 'death of the high street' can also be attributed to the trend of everyone shopping online for cheaper alternatives.
From a consumers perspective, improving their property has become a priority over moving house. Yet finding a reliable local tradesperson for home improvement projects is sometimes a time consuming task. Whether it is a bathroom, kitchen or complete home renovation project - finding the right tradesperson, at the right price can be a challenge. Most people get recommendations using word-of-mouth. Many others use the Internet and check builders online reviews. It is a good idea to check the websites of trade associations to find contact details of local registered members. Many trade members include details of their qualifications and skills. Obtain a few estimates for the job and try and ask for recommendations from other satisfied customers. Before your builder begins any work, always agree a price (either for the project or at a daily rate with an estimated timeframe).