I have just returned from seven weeks absence following an operation and it's good to have a fresh perspective of the market. The Olympics and Jubilee are still ringing in our ears and our national pride has ever seemed so good

In the commercial property market there does appear to be a sense of optimism with some financial and property reports supporting positive demand and signs of new development beginning to take shape.

On behalf of Clive Fletcher Developments and Thomas Vale Construction we are about to lodge a planning application for the much-awaited regeneration of the canal basins n Stourport with a mixed use scheme and good demand for pre-letting the commercial units and good demand for residential mews houses and apartments – construction could start as early as the beginning of next year year.

This is echoed in other towns in the region where both residential and commercial development, absent for many years, is now starting to gear up with funding available although still difficult to achieve.

The Bank of England’s summary of business conditions for September reports spending on consumer goods and services continued to grow at a gradual pace and turnover in the business service sector was rising at a gradual pace, as the volume of activity edged higher compared with a year earlier.

The housing market remained subdued. That was partly due to the usual summer lull, with some contacts suggesting that activity may have been postponed due to the Olympics. Many banks were preparing to make use of the Funding for Lending Scheme, but it was too soon for it to have had any impact on demand.

And credit conditions continued to frustrate the aspirations of some would-be homeowners. Numbers of first-time buyers had risen slightly, but buy-to-let continued to account for a larger share of transactions than prior to the recession. Further up the housing chain, activity was in large part driven by the usual factors of debt, death and divorce. Growing numbers of vendors were reported to be lowering their asking prices to stimulate interest.

Sentiments across the region differ with some reporting an increase in demand and others static. From a local perspective we are seeing enquiries building month on month more for office and industrial / manufacturing space.

Land enquiries are lifting and more activity especially from the major UK housebuilders, although the appetite of the smaller developers is growing. We have a well-located residential development site between Hagley and Stourbridge and we have very keen interest from 12 local and national developers – so the appetite for good well positioned sites at the right price is most definitely there.

Retail demand is still subdued and in Stourbridge we are monitoring the “Tesco” effect, although we will not see this fully until late next year when it opens.

There are signs of renewed activity in the town centre with some shops looking at refits and some new occupiers including a local restaurant / pub taking the former Bank building on the corner of High Street and Coventry Street.

The Ryemarket continues to be reasonably well let, although with a predominance of discount stores. The High Street is busy but the average spend per head needs to improve along with the quality of the offer and the general appearance and user friendliness of the town centre. This will only be accomplished with the joint efforts of the traders to “up their game” and the local authority to ensure the town is a clean welcoming and safe place for families and visitors to enjoy.

The disruption due to Tesco’s regeneration, albeit a nuisance, is good to see with a £60 million investment being made in our town centre.

So as we enter autumn with a feeling of pride and a smile let's hope this continues in the activity in the commercial property market – I for one believe we are in for a better time.

Let's hope local, national and European economic woes, don’t overtake us, of course.