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More sunny days ahead

The market again seems to be picking up and confidence rising. We are seeing an increase in the level of enquiries and viewings for commercial and retail property, price and rent still are an issue but if correctly marketed and at the right values sales and letting as re being concluded. There is still a preference for freehold property and again in value correctly funding is becoming more readily available.

Sentiment and market activity have improved and there is a steady take up of vacant stock which will lead to a demand/supply imbalance in some local markets within the next 12 months.

New commercial property developments are still few and far between but we are seeing some speculative development returning in the commercial industrial sector albeit limited.

Demand to purchase smaller/medium sized industrial warehouse units remains strong but lettings market weaker. Still signs of improvement in retail premises generally.

The residential market has continued to improve, following acquisition on behalf of clients of the former Prince of Wales Public house in Stourbridge Road Hagley, for redevelopment we have recently launched the sale of 19 existing houses both as investments with standing long term tenants and vacant homes, some requiring refurbishment and renovation we have been surprised by the sheer level of enquiries and are holding a series of Open Days to cope with the level of interest, both from occupiers and investors.

Elsewhere with land availability scarce price for consented sites is increasing together with demand form both small and large local and national developers and contractors. We are currently advising on over 500 plots, a level we have not seen for some considerable time.

The commercial property investment market has improved, with good well let stock now selling well with pressure on values – maybe time to consider sale of your commercial assets while lending and mortgage rates are at an all-time low. There is an appetite and sentiment from those individual investors with good cash reserves to now spend.

The Q1 2014 RICS UK Commercial Property Market Survey highlights a continued strengthening in both the occupier and investment sectors. This improvement is becoming increasingly broad based in both sectorial and regional terms; this is no longer just a London offices story. At the all-sector level, occupier demand increased while availability fell. With the market tightening, rents are expected to pick up further and the value of tenant inducements are falling. This broad pattern is also evident across the three subsectors (retail, office and industrial) and the survey’s broad four regional groupings London, the South, Midlands/Wales and the North.

Stourbridge Town centre still seems to be getting busier, we have agreed a sale on a freehold restaurant with 5 offers received and are getting stronger interest in empty retail space, but still price sensitive. Owners and occupiers are undertaking upgrading and refurbishment works with the Ryemarket undergoing further upgrading together with the rumours of other major retailers coming to join the busy centre. Tesco now report improved activity in the Crown Centre with increased levels of traffic and the availability of excellent car parking facilities.

Let us hope the sun continues to shine on us and with the World Cup shortly upon us lets hope we all have something to keep cheering about.

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