Commercial Property Market – April 2023

The commercial property market remains active in the South West. Since the start of the year activity has been increasing month on month. This is not only from people looking for a property to lease or purchase, but also from landlords or vendors looking to dispose of their interest. 

 The greatest activity remains in the industrial sector, which will be of no surprise to most people. Demand remains strong for all sizes, but especially smaller units sub 2,000 sq ft. There is still good demand for units in excess of 10,000 sq ft and very little supply. We have just put a 65,000 sq ft unit on the market at Langage in Plymouth and I expect we will receive a good level of interest. Freeholds of any size also remain popular. Given the increase in build costs pushing up the prices of new build units, as well as the lack of supply of these we have seen competition for second hand stock when it comes available, which in turn has pushed prices up. 

 The office sector remains active, and the office definitely isn’t a thing of the past! From the recent survey on our Spring Update  the majority of people have returned to the office at least part time with 56% reporting that either all or most of their people were back in the office most of the time. Only 6% said they were predominately based at home. The key is the flight to quality with firms looking to take on good quality, modern space in order to entice their employees in to the office. It’s not just about that though, it’s also about attracting employees to work for your company in an under supplied labour market. 

 Finally retail, and the sector also remains active. The postal strikes did bricks and mortar retailers a favour in that it made people come back to the High Streets to shop in order to get their Christmas presents. Not only that but “shop local” remains popular and with sustainability in mind people want to buy goods with good eco credentials from local suppliers. With business rates having reduced substantially for most shops, this is also helping with reducing overheads and making shops a more viable prospect for businesses. 

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