Encouraging signs on commercial property scene

John Andrews, partner with Doolittle & Dalley in Kidderminster.

John Andrews, partner with Doolittle & Dalley in Kidderminster.

First published in Industrial Stourbridge News: Photograph of the Author by

FOLLOWING an encouraging time during the early spring, there are signs that the recovery in relation to the commercial property market are being sustained.

All sectors retail, industrial offices and leisure have seen levels of enquiry increase again over the last month and there are now definitely signs that hopefully that the recovery in the commercial property market will not be short lived.

Over the last month although small retail businesses are finding the market tough many small businesses are seeing a enough trade to survive although particularly those connected with fast food are noticing a reduction in the amount of trade compared with a year ago. Small shops which become vacant are being re-let and in some cases small businesses which are looking to expand.

As summer approaches there is also clear evidence that the leisure industry locally is also seeing an increase in trade and perhaps with high fuel prices and budgets being tight that many will holiday locally rather than the traditional trips to the coast. There is clearly a shortage of in investment into large leisure opportunities and much of this may be due to the lack of support from the major banks where the criteria for lending is so tight that many cannot obtain the funding they need. Unfortunately with the banks being effected by the euro crisis it may be that the situation with availability of mortgage monies may mean that further growth in this sector will be restricted.

For the first time this year there is a slight improvement in relation to the requirement for offices and although this is perhaps the weakest sector lettings of small office suits are on the increase, although there is little demand for larger office suits particularly those on the first and second floor of buildings. Many of these many only have a future for alternative uses and it is unlikely other than in the larger cities that there will be a long term demand for office accommodation as many companies used workers based at home.

Small industrial units are being let and this is a good sign as we are seeing small businesses which have perhaps been started from a home base now looking to take on small premises to grow their businesses. As yet there is little evidence of small businesses moving to larger units and in some cases some are moving to better planned rather than larger accommodation to save costs.

In all a much more encouraging scene borne out by recent statics which show an improvement in business throughout the West Midlands.

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