Commercial property in the UK has undergone significant change over the past couple of years, both in terms of occupier demand and investor appetite.
Investor appetite has been strong, largely based upon an active occupier market that has helped to drive rental growth and reduce voids. Overseas investor activity has however diminished, with foreign investors squeezed out by increasingly active UK buyers snapping up well-placed commercial property assets that are let to strong covenants.
Demand for short term and strategic residential land remains strong as housebuilders (both national and local) continue to develop brown field sites and to convert office accommodation into residential space. There are lots of challenges coming with the need to build more houses in the UK placing pressure upon the green belt as the number of available brownfield sites continues to diminish.
The occupier market has been through the most significant change, particularly in the retail and food and drink sectors. Both sectors have seen a significant number of leasehold property portfolios restructured, either through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) or as a result of corporate failure, leading to a growing clamour for a review of how CVAs are used.
Further pressure is expected in the retail sector with occupier demand continuing to fall, vacancy rates increasing and investment values falling. In the meantime, the office, industrial and residential sectors continue to provide prospects for value enhancement.
Our track record in this sector is excellent having worked with a wide variety of commercial occupiers, investors and funders to ensure the property meets the needs of the business, investor or funder.