Survey suggests commercial property is on the up
Even allowing for a seasonal upturn, demand in the office sector rose firmly, though activity in retail and industrial sectors remains flat, according to the survey. Looking ahead,18% more chartered surveyors expect an increase in new sales and lettings than a fall, up from 12% the previous quarter.
Overall the results suggested that demand for business property rose for the fourth consecutive quarter. The largest rises were recorded in Southern England, led by the office market, though strength in retail property is evident in the West Midlands and the North East.
RICS commercial property spokesman Graham Chase said: ‘London is showing a marked turnaround which is a cause for optimism. There is steady growth in the office market after a prolonged period of weak activity. Confidence is recovering from a low base and is modest compared to more dynamic curves of the past, but definitely on the up.’
The survey is published at a crunch time for British commercial property, with the Government decision on whether to legislate on commercial property leases in England and Wales due by the end of this year. Options being considered include a cap on lease lengths and a possible ban of upward only rent review clauses.