Property consultants report on Swindon market

April 2, 2009

Property consultants Alder King have released Market Monitor 2009, an annual report of the commercial property market in Swindon, the South West and South Wales.  It sets out activity in the Swindon market over the past year, and highlights the town’s major deals and growth areas.
The report notes that overall demand for office buildings in Swindon reduced from 2007 levels by 24 per cent to 241,000 sq ft.  60 per cent of this floorspace was taken up in out of town locations, and 40 per cent in town.  James Gregory, partner at Alder King said: “The overall level of supply of office buildings remained steady during the year, because no new buildings were completed.  Instead, in town accommodation is being refurbished in order to be attractive to occupiers.”
2008 office rents remained unchanged from 2007 levels, with town centre rents and out of town rents remaining at £13 per sq ft and £18 per sq ft respectively. Industrial take up during 2008 fell in comparison to 2007 levels, caused primarily by a lack of large deals.  The largest transaction in Swindon was at Europa, where Yusen Air and Sea Service (UK) took 139,000 sq ft.
Supply of industrial accommodation decreased during to 2008 to 1,595,000 sq ft, although the supply of second hand industrial accommodation increased, particularly at South Marston.  No new industrial buildings are currently under construction and instead good quality refurbishments of existing stock are being undertaken, such as the Orion Building at Blagrove.

Alder King reports that whilst Swindon’s town centre has proved relatively resilient to softening demand, no new significant retail lettings were reported during 2008.  Out of town, the North Orbital Retail Park has maintained its strong trading record and new lettings included Comet and a new style Mcdonald’s.

James Gregory, partner at Alder King said: “The 2008 market witnessed a slowing in activity across all sectors, as the downturn in the economy began to have its effect on the commercial property market. However, significant deals were achieved, including the letting of a 55,000 sq ft industrial unit at Interface Park to Ward Thomas Removals.”

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