Plymouth’s commercial property market moved up a gear through 2015 with increasing activity across all sectors. That is according to Ashleigh Phillips, Team Manager at Bruton Knowles’ Plymouth office who says the positive trend looks set to continue through 2016.
“The South west commercial property market has seen a positive 2015 with some growth in rental and capital values. This has been driven by a lack of supply and steady demand. “Demand has improved, along with the availability of finance. High street lenders have more appetite for good quality property and owner-occupier / trading businesses”.
Ashleigh also notes that the student property market in the SW university towns has continued to mature. “This has resulted in the delivery of institutional quality, purpose built and converted stock. Nationally, this sector is strong and has seen yields compress as well as rental growth.
He added: “Student accommodation is currently favoured by institutions looking to enter the private rented sector but seeking good returns and lower risk.”
“In the main commercial sectors as rental levels have recovered, we have advised on a number of lease renewals and rent reviews. As a number of leases granted in the recessionary period come up for lease events, such as renewals and rent reviews, both landlords and tenants should take advice as the market recovery has not been uniform. We have also seen an increase in dilapidations work resulting from occupiers moving premises in response to improved economic conditions.”
An integral part of our service to commercial property owners and occupiers is the mitigation of business rates. We have negotiated significant savings on business rates with the Valuation Office and the billing authorities for clients. Statistically 70% of all appeals fail, our record is significantly better as our service is focussed on in-depth local knowledge, technical expertise and on-going client relationships to maximise the opportunities for savings and reliefs. With the 2017 revaluation around the corner, we would suggest that ratepayers begin to consider how they wish to approach this.
“The office continues to act for major utility and transportation clients in the region offering access and compulsory purchase advice.”
Reflecting this market activity Glenn Kelly, specialist in valuations reports that “the Plymouth office has undertaken valuations on approximately £74 million of property across all sectors in Devon and Cornwall during the year. We have also seen a significant increase in availability of bridging finance and the emergence of peer to peer lenders”
Mark Slade joined the office in September 2015 to offer a full commercial agency and property brokerage service. Mark has already been instructed by Plymouth City Council, major pension funds as well as SME clients and already has a number of substantial transactions under offer. Mark reports an increase in investment transactions and downward pressure on yields.
Nearer home, the office has expanded to double its floorspace – reinforcing its commitment to the Chamber of Commerce as our landlord. “With ongoing confidence in the market and our brand we are anticipating further expansion and success in 2016.”