According to a survey by the British Property Federation of boardroom directors, 49% plan to accelerate the delivery of their net-zero programmes over the next twelve months.
A further 28% expect to maintain investment at its current level. Just 2% expect to scale back delivery.
London remains the chief property investment destination for leaders, with 40% expecting to increase development in the capital over the coming year, the Midlands, and other key regions, are also likely to receive increases in investment.
Positive views around the construction of the HS2 rail line in cities like Birmingham, may account for the 28% expected increase in development in the Midlands. The North of England and Yorkshire are also expected to get a 19% uplift.
The shift toward emerging asset classes is also reflected in property companies’ top three longer-term investment plans.
Over the next five years, 41% of respondents plan to increase investment into Build-to-Rent, 31% are targeting logistics and 30% are planning to upscale in life sciences.
Melanie Leech, chief executive at the British Property Federation, said: “While we are braced for 2023 to be a challenging year, those surveyed clearly believe that there is a positive outlook for the sector next five years, reflecting the cyclical nature of real estate and the property sector’s role as long-term investors in towns and cities.
“The sector is currently facing a perfect storm of pressures including cost inflation, skills shortages, and increased cost of debt but as economic conditions improve we should see activity rebound strongly.”
James Raynor, CEO of Grosvenor Property UK, said: “We shouldn’t be surprised that net zero is high on the agenda; addressing our carbon footprint isn’t just the right thing to do, the commercial and reputational case is increasingly clear.
“We’re already well on our way having reduced emissions by over 24% in the last two years.
“And with our pipeline of sustainable projects attracting premium rents, including our first net zero offices which will complete pre let soon, our early moves to do the right thing are supporting the business as the economy softens.”