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UK Real Estate Market Overview: How Today’s Conditions Will Affect Legal Recruitment

The news for the commercial real estate market over the past few years has been bleak. The remote working boom and rising interest rates combined to make commercial office and retail space a stagnating market. However, unlike the rest of the world, the UK commercial real estate market is recovering at record pace. In our UK real estate market overview, we’ll explore some of the reasons behind the recovery and what it will mean for businesses looking to attract and retain in-house commercial property solicitors and conveyancers.

Until recently, UK real estate market overviews predicted less than positive outlooks for commercial property. Like the markets in the US and Europe, the UK commercial market was expected to continue to stagnate, or even fall. Office vacancy rates in the US are at record levels, and MSCI World Real Estate Index fell by 18% in 2023.

While the cost of borrowing remains high, interest rates have stabilised. And because London’s property values fell less than those in Paris, Dublin and many US cities, UK real estate investors are most positive about their outlook going forward and are committed long term to their portfolios. Which means that by 2028 commercial property lending in the UK is expected to rise by 35% to £118 billion.

All told the UK real estate market overview is a positive one, and commercial real estate is at the vanguard of future growth. One survey of investors found that 18% were looking to pursue retail opportunities this year, 17% were most excited about office space, and 15% were exploring industrial and manufacturing sites.

How the Market Will Affect Commercial Property Solicitor Recruitment

While this is good news for the sector overall, exactly what will this mean for recruitment in commercial real estate law and conveyancing? A positive UK real estate market overview will lead to a larger number of property purchases and development opportunities requiring legal support, increasing competition for legal and conveyancing talent.

However, a backlog of property transactions and sluggish conveyancing times are slowing down the market. Solving this problem could mean increased digitalisation of property transactions. Legal firms should prepare by increasing their teams’ digital skills.

Get ahead of the rush by rethinking your talent attraction and retention strategies:

Target Your Recruitment

Using targeted recruitment strategies such as online platforms, industry networks and specialist recruitment agencies, identify, connect with, and attract experienced lawyers and talented law graduates with a demonstrated interest in commercial real estate law.

Improve Your Brand Reputation and Recognition

Showcase your reputation for excellence in commercial real estate law through marketing materials, online presence, and client testimonials. Social media is also a great way to connect with young legal talent. You might also consider participating in industry awards and recognition programs to improve visibility and credibility within the legal community.

Develop a Supportive Workplace Culture

Take steps to highlight a culture of support, inclusivity, and work-life balance to attract and retain staff. Offer flexible work arrangements such as remote work options, flexible hours, and compressed workweeks to accommodate different needs and make your roles as widely appealing as possible. Encourage open communication, feedback, and dialogue between employees and management to promote employee engagement.

Offer Opportunities for Professional Growth

Retaining top level talent is just as important as attracting new staff. Invest in employee development to show you support their career growth and improve the skills and expertise you have access to. Provide clear paths to promotion, and mentorship and coaching opportunities for senior staff to share their expertise.

Clayton Legal has over 25 years’ experience helping clients attract and retain legal talent across practice areas that include Property, Personal Injury, Family, Criminal, and Costs law as well as Legal IT and Civil and Commercial Litigation.

If you are building your legal team, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.


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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director