RETAIL property rents have fallen in Huddersfield, latest figures reveal.
But the town fared less badly that some of its near-neighbours in the survey conducted by property advisers Colliers International – while Dewsbury held steady.
Colliers’ Midsummer Retail Report showed that average retail rents in Yorkshire fell by 1.8% in the year to June, 2012. The decline was only slightly steeper than the UK average of 1.2%.
The drop in high street and shopping centre rents comes as retailers continue to feel pressure from the squeeze in consumer spending.
Huddersfield saw a 5.6% fall in rents from £90 per sq ft to £85 per sq ft. In contrast, Hull reported a 13% decline from £115 to £100 per sq ft while Sheffield was down by 10% from £200 to £180 per sq ft and York was down by 5.3% from £185 to £175 per sq ft.
Dewsbury remained unchanged at £40 per sq ft.
The report showed no rise in rents across Yorkshire – 17 of the 21 locations assessed were stable, maintaining the same rents as in 2011.
Key regional cities and malls still commanded higher than average rents – such as Leeds at £270 per sq ft and Meadowhall at £400 per sq ft. Comparably, Manchester maintained rents at £250 per sq ft, Liverpool at £265 and Birmingham at £275.
Greg Styles, head of retail development at Colliers International, said: “Retail rents in Yorkshire and the Humber have shown reasonable stability when compared to other regions across Great Britain.
“As the new Trinity shopping centre opens in Leeds next spring it will be interesting to gauge the impact on rents, but the city needs the scheme to keep pace with other major regional centres and we are predicting that rents here will remain strong.”
Towns that had previously experienced a rapid decline have now achieved encouraging stability. Barnsley maintained rents at £100 per sq ft and Grimsby even higher at £120 per sq ft.
Mr Styles said: “We believe that rental adjustments have now taken place in many sub-regional centres and rents in those towns should now remain more stable provided economic conditions do not deteriorate further.”