Thoughts from East Anglia based PAI member Fenn Wright:
The result of the recent general election saw some very positive news for the commercial property market with the “Boris Bounce” seeing share prices in investment companies, developers and agency businesses climbing by between 4% and 13%.
Although Brexit may still have a long way to go, the clearer direction for UK politics will inspire confidence, encouraging business owners to dust off their expansion plans and developers to commence new schemes.
In Essex and Suffolk demand for freehold property remained strong throughout 2019, be it for investment, owner occupation or development. Small freehold business units have proved particularly successful with two new build multi-million-pound office schemes on the outskirts of Colchester being good examples.
At Langham Barns, to the north of the town, only one of 9 units within the second phase of the development is still available. This unit is available to let, the others having all been sold within four months of the scheme being completed.
Similarly, Godbolts Business Park, to the west of Colchester, has only two out of the first 10 units still available.
By contrast, the lettings market during the last two quarters of 2019 was more restrained, with tenants often exercising caution, choosing not to secure alternative or additional business space.
Alistair Mitchell, Partner at Fenn Wright commented “We predict that most of these decisions were simply postponed and we are confident that letting prospects for commercial property will improve this year. We would expect to see greater occupational demand, ensuring values in the office and industrial sectors maintain an upward trajectory and encouraging additional development being implemented.”
A new warehouse development, Nobel Trading Park on Ransomes Europark in Ipswich, is due to be completed within the next few months and only 3 are still available.
Fenn Wright has a number of clients with exciting new office, industrial and warehouse schemes which we will be bringing to the market over the next 12 months – so watch this space!
In the meantime, hopefully the government will ‘get Brexit done’, trade negotiations will go according to plan and our region will continue to thrive in 2020.