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Signs of recovery in the Commercial property market

Kingston Commercial Property Consultants report an encouraging last 6 months, with levels of enquiries, negotiations and transactions all showing a marked improvement.

Agency Partner, Andrew Buckman commented “It is still too early to say with any confidence that stability in the commercial property market is taking place. However, we are encouraged by the last few months. It will take a considerable period of time before the over-supply in the local market – especially in terms of offices – is reduced to an acceptable level: but so far, so good.”

For the last six months, recorded enquiry levels are up nearly 65% on the previous year.

70% of the overall deals completed in the last 6 months have been in Lichfield and the Tamworth area – 25% up on the same 6 months of 2011/12.

Lichfield and Tamworth are long established commercial property locations which have continued to attract UK and International companies within a wide range of business sectors. The strategic location in the centre of the UK at the heart of the Midland road network is ideal for warehouse and distribution uses, with Tamworth close to Junction 10 of the M42 motorway and Lichfield adjacent to the A38 and M6 Toll Road. For similar reasons, Tamworth and Lichfield are also recognised as regional office centres and both locations have a strong retail sector, with Tamworth’s Ventura Retail Park and Lichfield’s city centre including the Three Spires Shopping Centre attracting major retailers.

Although commercial property has been hit quite hard by the economic turmoil of the past five years, Tamworth and Lichfield appear to have weathered the storm relatively well and there are now signs of an improving market. New companies have continued to move into the area and a large proportion of the commercial properties which became vacant at the beginning of the downturn have now been sold or re-let.

Already this year in Tamworth, 77,000 sq.ft. of warehouse accommodation at the Tame Valley Industrial Estate has been sold, and another building of 22,000 sq.ft. on the same Estate has been put under offer. In the office sector, the agency rate for one development on the eastern side of Tamworth has fallen from 50% in 2009 to 15% today and another development in the same area, completed in 2007, is now fully occupied for the first time.

At the same time in Lichfield, a 104,000 sq.ft, distribution facility is under offer and terms have been agreed on an office building of approximately 15,000 sq.ft. close to the M6 Toll Road. In the retail sector, news that Debenhams will be opening a new store this year in the former T J Hughes building has given a significant boost to the city centre.

Lichfield based Practice, Kingston CPC, earned the title Most Active Agent in Staffordshire from Estates Gazette last year, after completing over 50% more deals than its nearest competitor. Agency Partner, Graham Jones, was also named Staffordshire’s Deal Maker of the Year 2012. He won the award for making the highest number of recorded deals in the region for a single commercial agent.