Property Agency

RICS still paints subdued picture

The latest RICS UK Commercial Market Survey for Q4 2012 continued to point to generally a subdued picture in the commercial property market although there are a couple of slightly more encouraging signals in the data.

On the occupier side the results are consistent with the recent tenant demand in the final few months of 2012 but the availability of commercial property is also continuing to rise. Reflecting this, the rent expectation net balance remains in negative territory albeit to a lesser extent than previously. Meanwhile “inducements” being offered by landlords still appear to be on a rising trend.

The investment market headlines point to a small increase in enquiries during the final 3 months of last year with actual transactions expected to increase in the first quarter. Capital value expectations are broadly flat whilst the retail property market still appears to be bearing the brunt of the downturn. The office property and industrial property markets recorded positive net balances.

The latest survey to an extent reflects that being experienced in the local Peterborough commercial property market. We have seen some increases in prices achieved for office buildings on a freehold/long leasehold basis principally due to a lack of available stock although much depends on location and the quality of the property. Rents have stabilised for Peterborough office and industrial property although we are yet to see significant increases in rents for either. Retail property continues to struggle as is being seen nationally although Peterborough has relatively few vacant shop units in prime locations when compared to some other similar sized conurbations.