Increased commercial property demand, according to RICS

November 19, 2009

The latest RICS Commercial Market Survey for 2009, Q3 reports increased enquiries and demand for the first time since Q2, 2007 with the office sector of the commercial property market showing the greatest improvement and tenant demand rising in both the office and industrial markets, whilst retail letting activity is no longer in decline.

The RICS Survey reports that it is the London commercial property market which seems to be leading the turnaround in tenant activity, with retail and office demand moving into expansion faster than anywhere else.

However, it reports that the industrial markets in the Midlands and the South also appear to have gained some support from a lower pound and improved external climate.

The RICS Survey notes that despite modest improvements in lettings demand, the growth in the amount of floor space on the market continued to rise throughout Q3 and development completions have continued to ease back further, with the near term outlook for commercial activity remaining subdued.

RICS Survey contributor Andrew Kilpatrick, partner of Thompsons in Swindon said: “There have been some signs of a pickup in enquiry levels across Swindon’s commercial property market but it is too early to know if this will translate into increased take-up for Q4, 2009.”

He also advised that the freehold investment property market is still being affected by funding difficulties in terms of both cost and availability, but observed there are cash funded bargain hunters around, although many are struggling to find deals to do, with so far limited distressed sale opportunities around.”

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