Market View
Market View
October 2023
Iain Steele
Article by
Iain Steele

Any freehold captures the imagination and causes a stir of interest…

A constant factor of the market is that any freehold captures the imagination and causes a stir of interest, which underlines that property is seen as a good and safe place to invest.

The commercial property market has remained steady for most of 2023 although the perceived wisdom locally is that activity has eased off.  Rising interest rates, in an effort to dampen inflation, has softened demand and slowed decision making.

Industrial continues to be the busiest sector with an ongoing shortage of supply particularly at the smaller end of the market.  Traditional steel portal frame units up to 2,000 sq ft will generally let quickly.  Freeholds of this size will continue to prompt many enquiries with competitive pricing generating activity.  However, even in this sector the frenzied activity experienced earlier in the year has quietened although units continue to sell well, albeit we believe prices have now peaked.

Retail on the high street will continue to let at the smaller end to independents. In Farnham at rentals up to a certain level of say £35,000 per annum, interest remains strong.  Above this level, activity wains a little with the business rates commitment also being a consideration.

Contrary to some predictions,  the office market has remained alive with office occupiers still taking space.  Employers are encouraging a return to the office and employees are responding, although for the foreseeable future hybrid working remains part of the employment landscape.  Some office space has been repurposed, taking advantage of the new Class E Planning Use, which was introduced in September 2020 and combined retail, office and light industrial, along with some leisure and clinic uses, under a single Use Class.

We continue to receive a number of enquiries from the leisure and health/wellbeing sectors who, depending on their specific uses, may occupy retail, office or industrial buildings.

As we have said before on these pages, key to a healthy market is co-operation between landlords and tenants who should maintain an empathetic approach with their counterpart for the benefit of all concerned.