With high-profile retailers going into administration or closing less-profitable outlets, the demand for shop floorspace is in decline, while Brexit is leading to a lack of confidence in Swindon's commercial property market, according to the latest statistics.
And the RICS Commercial Market Survey for Q4 2018 suggests a slight decline in demand for office space, while the demand for warehousing – buoyed in part by pre-Brexit stockpiling – and industrial space is on the up
The supply of industrial floorspace on the market fell for the 26th consecutive quarter, whilst the survey reports modest increases in office floorspace and a greater increase in vacant retail space, with Q4 2018 showing the greatest increase since Q4 2009, at the height of the last recession.
Incentives available to tenants increased in the office and retail sectors, but were unchanged in the industrial sector.
In the investment market, interest in retail investments fell sharply, remained steady for offices and increased again for industrial investments, but with reduced availability of industrial investment property on the market.
The RICS survey also reports that the continuing political uncertainty is holding back market activity and delaying decisions.
RICS survey contributor Andrew Kilpatrick, of Kilpatrick & Co, said: “The Swindon market continues to be subdued thanks to the Brexit chaos, undermining economic and consumer confidence in Swindon, as elsewhere.
"However, deals are still happening, if perhaps more slowly than ideal. As long as the politicians don’t prolong the uncertainty by delaying Brexit, the market has recovery potential, especially in the office and distribution sectors.”