CHARTERED surveyors are cautiously optimistic about prospects for the Yorkshire commercial property sector, a survey has revealed.
The latest market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows that the balance of members expecting new sales and lettings to rise rather than fall in the next three months stands at plus 14% – although this is a decline from plus 24% in the third quarter of 2010.
Meanwhile, the figure for occupier enquiries stood at plus 18% against minus 11% last time while overall tenant demand for commercial property increased to plus 19% from minus 5%.
Just 10% more surveyors saw an increase rather than a decrease in available occupier space – down from a reading of plus 26% in the third quarter. Available space in the office sector stood at plus 33%, although this is the lowest figure since the fourth quarter of 2007.
Available space continued to edge up in the industrial sector at plus 26%. The retail sector saw a considerable drop in availability with a net balance of minus 6%.
On the investment side, 20% more surveyors in Yorkshire and Humber said that capital values fell rather than rose – suggesting that commercial buyers remain cautious about investing in the region. Looking ahead, overall expectations for commercial rents in Yorkshire and Humber fell to a net balance of minus 8%. Rent expectations were lowest in the office sector at minus 21%.
Alex McNeil, of Bramleys in Huddersfield, said: “Conditions remain tough with new enquiries coming forward. Activity does remain however, with those active in the market having a genuine appetite for acquisition, albeit at the ‘right’ price or rent.” Colin Harrop, commercial market spokesman for RICS Yorkshire and Humber, said: “The commercial market in the region still faces significant challenges, with the picture on rents and capital values broadly reflecting the emerging economic recovery.
“Not just in Yorkshire and Humber, but across the country, offices are a particular area of concern as any over-supply will be compounded by likely consolidation in the public sector.
“On top of this, the general lack of new projects being initiated in our region doesn’t provide the kick-start to the regeneration that parts of the north really need.”