Despite all the woes of recession and predictions of a “triple” dip, commercial property in North Worcestershire and Warwickshire is proving popular in early 2013.
With the year not yet one month old, we have deals on over 100,000 sq ft of industrial space either completed or in legals.
And it is not just sheds that are proving popular as already in Bromsgrove and Redditch we have let over 8,000 sq ft of office space, with a further 5,000 sq ft under offer. It’s not just Bromsgrove and Redditch seeing a strong start, we are also experiencing similar levels of activity in Studley and Alcester.
It is possible that this encouraging trend is being driven by the current success of the Midlands automotive sector with those supplying Jaguar Land Rover currently leading the way. This increase in business has knock-on benefits for other sectors, notably recruitment, training and IT.
Indeed, we have to hope that the banks recognise this trend at the lower end of the marketplace and are sufficiently enthused to encourage it with a greater flexibility in lending to SMEs – however I suspect the jury is still out on that one.
What we have seen is a take up of quality premises over the past twelve months and there is now only a limited supply of such stock available. I believe that this year landlords of secondhand stock who have used the downtime to refurbish and improve their properties will reap the rewards.
With the amount of stock beginning to dry up, we are seeing some evidence of rents starting to improve. Is it too much to hope for a return to speculative development by developers in Redditch and Bromsgrove where the attractive central location has always proven a long term winner?
We hope to continue the trends established in 2012 which saw John Truslove responsible for letting 10,000 sq ft to Bobst Group, one of the biggest office deals in the Midlands during 2012, resulting in Ravensbank House in North Moons Moat being fully let.
Our 2012 figures for industrial space sales and lettings were ten per cent up on 2011, with offices ahead an amazing 54 per cent.
Notwithstanding the high street retail sector which continues to be tough, we are cautiously optimistic that the overall business property market in this region has tremendous prospects in 2013.