Feel good factor on the increase
Firstly, it was noticeable how much busier the event was this year. Many were feeling far more positive about the future than they have done of late and genuinely thought that new opportunities were there to be discovered. Indeed, for many, the biggest challenge was coping with the demands of work back home while ensuring they got the most from their investment in their trip to the event.
In recent years there has been an increased focus on high end residential property in London, and while this remains a buoyant part of the market, general property investment and development featured more prominently. There was even a feeling that this is finding its way out to the regions, Scotland included. It will not come as news to many that there is a weight of money looking for a home, however in most cases the product has to be right. The result is that there are too many people chasing too few opportunities.
Hold on some investment decisions pending Referendum result
Turning to Scotland, what of the Referendum? Fergus and I were asked about this many times. It was clear from a number of conversations we had that some are choosing not to invest or lend into Scotland until the Independence question is answered.
It appears that hotel and student accommodation investments and projects are seen as being safer bets, however there is undoubtedly a reluctance on the part of some to participate in the Scottish market currently on account of the uncertainty. Even the strong Aberdeen market is not immune to this.
That said, many and indeed the vast majority appear to be undeterred, a fact which is reflected in the continuing activity we see in the Scottish market, particularly amongst those who don't require bank finance. We can but hope that this continues until September and beyond, regardless of the outcome of the Referendum.
I might even have slept it off by then….