London, 4 February 2014, National property consultancy Carter Jonas LLP has reported another year of strong financial results, with an increase in operating revenue and profit over a twelve month period to 30 April 2013.
- Group turnover up 4.8% to £34.24m (2012: £32.67m)
- Group profit before tax up 18% to £8.11m (2012: £6.87m)
- Strong balance sheet with net cash balances £8.19m (2012: £7.92m)
- Relocation to new national headquarters at 1 Chapel Place, London, W1
Mark Granger, chief executive, Carter Jonas said: “I am extremely pleased that we are yet again able to report a strong financial performance. In line with our national expansion strategy, the firm has invested significantly across the business in order to continue providing an excellent service for our clients, and at the same time attract and retain the very best people.
“Our relocation to 1 Chapel Place, on the north side of Oxford Street, represents a significant milestone in our evolution. We are confident that this will reinforce our national focus and ultimately increase company profile and exposure across all markets.
"Our headcount increased by 14% in 2013 as we actively expanded our Commercial and Planning & Development teams. We are attracting high calibre professionals seeking a career in a well established and forward thinking partnership. Our London teams alone grew by 7%; a strategic move, partly to leverage our already established commercial regional hubs.
“Our most recent acquisition of independent London residential estate agency, Sullivan Thomas, with three offices in south and west London, marks the first stage of our expansion into residential outer prime London.
“Gregory Besterman, founder and director of Sullivan Thomas, has been appointed head of residential and will be responsible for Carter Jonas’ national residential office network and driving our ambitious growth strategy.
“The acquisition of Peter Greenwood & Co LLP, an independent firm of chartered surveyors, land and estate agents in Boroughbridge, has made us the principal estate management practice in Yorkshire, with a portfolio in excess of 150,000 acres.
“In April 2013 Carter Jonas was awarded a place on the Government Procurement Service’s (GPS) (now known as the Crown Commercial Serive, CCS) Framework Agreement RM928 for Estate’s Professional Services for the supply of property consultancy services. We are directly assisting the UK public sector to drive down costs through more efficient procurement and service delivery and are currently acting for several London boroughs, as well as pension and health regulators.”
“Our success is a reflection of the diligence and hard work of my colleagues across the business. In line with the improving national economic outlook and supported by our market forecasts, we remain focussed on further opportunities for growth.”
I am confident that we will continue to deliver excellent results for our clients and be an employer of choice for our current and future staff."
Carter Jonas' UK Property Market Outlook
Despite increasing economic confidence, in 2013 rates of capital growth slowed in core Prime Central London (PCL) areas such as Knightsbridge and Mayfair. It is anticipated they will continue to cool this year, with rises of 2-4% forecast. Although investment from overseas remains an important element within the PCL core market, volumes slowed due to a more stable global outlook. At the same time that capital growth has slowed within the core market, investors are being increasingly tempted by fringe PCL locations, which potentially offer higher capital growth rates.
The ongoing acute shortage of stock within core PCL is predicted to attract an increasing number of potential buyers towards the fringe PCL market. In 2014, this increased owner-occupier activity, coupled with greater investor interest, will see areas such as Fulham and Wandsworth record a 6-8% increase in value.
Country Residential Market
Confidence within the country market is expected to strengthen during 2014 due to increased job security, improving economic fundamentals and urban families keen to capitalise on the strong performance of city property reigniting their search for a better quality of life in the country.
Capital growth of 6-8% is anticipated for market hot spots, primarily the traditional cities of Oxford, Cambridge, York, Bath and Winchester. On a regional level, rates of growth between 3-5% in the northern and western regions are expected, with southern and central regions anticipated to once again lead the way with a rise in the region of between 6-8%.
We are confident that as demand continues to outstrip supply, best in class farmland will rise in value by 5% and be keenly sought by the farming and non-farming investors alike, who value the safe haven status and inheritance tax advantages that land offers. However, quality is key, and as the rest of the economy shows signs of recovery, purchasers will be astute to differentiate between highly productive and poorer land.
Commercial Property Market
Rental growth in London is forecast to continue with prime central London office rents predicted to rise in 2014 by 5-10% due to strengthening demand against a backdrop of restricted supply, particularly evident within the prime West End markets of Mayfair and St James’s.
Outside London, as the steady economic recovery gathers momentum, occupier activity is expected to increase which will stimulate an improvement in the regional leasing markets, with hubs such as Cambridge, Leeds and Oxford, forecast to witness strengthening office and industrial demand. This improvement sits against a backdrop of increasingly limited Grade A quality stock and consequently upward pressure on office rental values, in the region of 2-4%, are forecast in 2014 in these prime markets.
Demand for good quality Grade B stock remained static in 2013 throughout the regional markets. However, with the increasingly limited supply of Grade A accommodation, minimal speculative development and strengthening demand levels, increasing interest is expected on this type of space in 2014. We foresee upward pressure on rents, with inducements hardening as demand is pushed out into Grade B stock. This will give confidence to developers and investors to consider speculative development, therefore stimulating the regional investment market.