Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Coronavirus hits commercial property market hard, survey suggests

Andrew Kilpatrick


The UK commercial market property outlook has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with a sharp downturn in market sentiment prevailing at the end of Q1, according to the quarterly Commercial Property Market Survey from RICS, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Following what appeared to be a promising start to 2020 throughout January and February, the forced business closures and social distancing have seriously restricted market activity across all sectors of the commercial property market. The fallout from the pandemic is expected to weigh heavily on the market outlook over the coming months, says the report.

In the near term, retail rents are expected to fall by 69 percent of respondents, whereas 24 percent of respondents expected office rents to fall, but industrial/warehouse rents are expected to be more resilient, with little change anticipated. ”The early part of Q1 saw improving confidence in Swindon’s commercial sectors, with increased inquiries as the improved political certainty trickled through to improve business confidence in all sectors, said RICS survey contributor, Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Co.

"This ceased in March as the coronavirus and lockdown came in and deals collapsed along with property enquiries. With the lockdown seemingly likely to continue for three months, all previous predictions for 2020 can be shelved.

"Many businesses will not survive this, despite the Government help.” Copies of the RICS Commercial Market Survey can be obtained from the RICS on 020 7222 7000. Kilpatrick & Co specialises in commercial property and can be contacted via www.kilpatrick-cpc.co.uk