Commercial property sector ‘picking up in many cities and market towns’

September 12th, 2012 Category: Building Management

The commercial property market appears to be picking up in some market towns and cities across the UK.

According to Knight Frank, there has been a small upturn in development activity in various sectors, including leisure, retail and food stores.

So while many investors are overlooking off-prime spots and helping to fuel only a slight improvement in the beleaguered commercial property market, it might be seen by some as progress nevertheless.

After all, if businesses start occupying these newly developed properties, it could have a number of positive effects elsewhere.

For instance, many firms will have to take on contract cleaners to maintain their new premises and keep them in top condition day after day.

But while retail, leisure and food store development activity seems to be picking up in some parts of the country, it could be a while before the commercial property sector sees signs of a genuine full-blown recovery.

Indeed, Knight Frank said the upturn it is expecting next year will be "limited" and that "development activity is unlikely to pick up significantly before 2015 at the earliest".

However, it looks as if London and south-east England are doing relatively well and outperforming other parts of the country.

Knight Frank said central London is one of the only parts of the UK that is currently "witnessing any upward pressure on rents".

Plus Britain as a whole is seen by some to be performing better than many of its European counterparts.

Ed Stansfield, Property Economist at Capital Economics, recently said many investors are looking towards the UK because it is not a eurozone country and is therefore less affected by its debt crisis than other places in the continent.

So the country's safe haven status could help to ensure commercial spaces remain occupied by businesses and associates such as contract cleaners for a long time to come.