Another good month on the property scene in Stourbridge and North Worcestershire.
The burgeoning office, warehouse and industrial markets – particularly in the freehold sq ft sector – are at risk. A lack of available commercial property this could impede further market growth in 2015.
The office market is also affected, with small offices in short supply and a scarcity of good quality freeholds. The shortage of smaller offices is due to the lack of any speculative refurbishment development taking place for the past five years, which means that any that do come on to the market are snapped up very quickly. We have now agreed the last letting at Hagley Mews and The Old Woodyard at Hagley Hall, which will shortly become fully occupied for the first time for some years. In Stourbridge we have recently agreed the sale of another good office building in the town centre and have considerable interest in Sandford House in Lower High Street a grade II listed office building with excellent refurbished space and substantial car parking.
Our commercial property acquisition side is also active having recently agreed the purchase of a modern industrial unit in The Wallows at Brierley Hill on behalf of a company expanding and relocating from Kinver.
On the land side we have had a very productive month selling sites from single plots in Hagley to major development sites for 24 apartments in Brierley Hill and a lot of developers and Care providers actively seeking well located sites for new developments. In Hagley we are selling land on Hagley Island on behalf of Hagley Park LLP and have received a very high level of interest from various sectors witnessing again the insatiable demand for good well located land and buildings
Increasing investment and interest within North Worcestershire and the Black Country is creating a high level demand for Grade A stock and we are urging developers and land-owners to recognize the opportunity as rental levels and yields begin to surpass those prior to the recession.
While the volume of interest and investment into North Worcestershire is a positive thing, and certainly helps to cement the county’s position as an attractive site for business but in order to fill this shortfall, developers and land-owners need to seize it, as rental levels and yields are now beginning to overtake levels pre-crash.
In the monthly summary of business conditions from the Bank of England occupier demand had risen in the commercial real estate market, with rents reported to have increased in many areas. Strong investor demand was reported to be putting upward pressure on property values. Housing market activity had risen modestly, but remained constrained by a shortage of properties available for sale. Intense competition was reported in the mortgage market, driving increased remortgaging activity.
With the changing planning regime on permitted development rights and conversion of redundant office buildings set to continue this is putting further pressure on the stock of offices.
Early Autumn reports provide for an encouraging review, demand appears to have continued even during the typical summer hiatus with enquiries being received and most importantly offers following.
There is no doubt he market is improving with renewed confidence and activity but there are instructions that still require creativity to provoke suitable interest – so if you are considering the future of your property assets it’s now time to plan ahead and consider what can be achieved.
All indicators point to a busy final quarter of the year with opportunities continuing to emerge in the marketplace, some straightforward others need creativity to extract value with a local market knowledgeable active and positive agent willing to assist in to make this happen.