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Political uncertainty leads to ‘subdued’ commercial property activity

Written by Peter Davison on .

Andrew KilpatrickAndrew KilpatrickFlat occupier demand is being experienced across all three main sectors of the UK commercial property market, with the only growth being seen in the industrial/distribution sector, according to the latest Commercial Property Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The amount of retail space available on the market has risen for the second consecutive quarter, whilst the supply of offices is static, and availability is falling in the industrial sector.

In the investment market, the survey reports a continuing increase in demand, albeit at a slower pace than earlier in the year and a continuing reduction in the supply of investment property on the market.

The RICS Survey says respondents frequently mention political uncertainty as an impediment to market activity, but 83 percent of respondents have seen no evidence of businesses looking to relocate as a result of Brexit, whereas only 17 percent have.

RICS survey contributor Andrew Kilpatrick, of Kilpatrick & Co, said: “Market activity in Swindon appears to be more subdued since the General Election as the continuing political uncertainty is factored into business’s decision making, whether for expansion or relocation.

“How the market will perform for the rest of 2017 remains to be seen, but take-up is expected to be down on 2016’s.

“Swindon’s snippets of good news include Wilko’s taking 21,000 sq ft of retail space in the town centre, vacated by British Home Stores, and Honda’s commitment to a new 400,000 sq ft distribution warehouse at South Marston.”