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Confidence in Commercial Property Market

The latest RICS Commercial Market Survey for Q1 2017 reports demand for commercial property increasing across all sectors for the third consecutive quarter.  The Survey reports strongest demand in the industrial/warehouse sector, followed by the office sector, with much flatter demand in the retail sector, where available retail space on the market increased for the first time since 2013.  Rental growth is expected to be strongest in the industrial sector over the next 12 months, but static in the retail sector.  Demand for investment properties continues to be buoyant, with overseas investors still active.  Only Scotland reports low demand for investments, with uncertainties surrounding a second independence referendum considered to be an impediment to demand momentum.

The RICS Survey was completed prior to the surprise General Election announcement.  RICS Survey contributor Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Co said ‘How that will affect market sentiment and demand for commercial property remains to be seen, but preliminary indications suggest it may be a more patchy market than this time last year.  What happens to market confidence for the rest of the year, I guess, depends upon whether the General Election produces a shock result or voters buy into Mrs May’s strong/stable government strapline!’

‘Locally, in Swindon and Wiltshire, the commercial market seems a little subdued across all sectors in Q1, possibly as a result of a cooling economy. Whoever wins the General Election, one thing does seem sure is there will be plenty of challenges ahead. Whilst there are some exciting new projects on the horizon such as new speculative industrial development at Hillmead and Symmetry’s new 1,250,000 sq.ft. distribution development at South Marston and potential new office developments in the Town Centre and at Lydiard Fields, set backs, such as Brunel Centre’s Food Court losing 5 out of the 7 restaurant operators so far signed up shows how tough market conditions can be, particularly for Town Centre retail.  One glimmer of good news is that the empty 20,000 sq.ft. shop unit in the Parade, vacated by BHS, has been let to Wilkos for 15 years’.

Kilpatrick & Co specialise in commercial property and may be contacted at Delta 602, Delta Office Park, Welton Road, Swindon, Wilts SN5 7XF.  Tel: 01793 643101; email;

Copies of the RICS Commercial Market Survey may be obtained from the RICS on 020 7222 7000.

For further information on this news release, please contact Michelle McAdam or Emma Nash on (01793) 643101.