By Ian Appleby - Commercial Surveyor
Well hopefully Spring is upon us and it’s time to look at what to expect for the remainder of this year. Not surprisingly, all talk is about a certain ‘Article 50’ and ‘Brexit’ and how this may dampen the hitherto buoyant Commercial Market that we have seen locally so far in 2017. As is traditional in the commercial property and financial press the focus is on what is happening in China, the USA (in particular-Trump!), Europe and of course, London. But what we and I am sure all the traders and business people of Stourbridge and The Black Country want to know, is what is happening on our High Streets and Parades right now, and in the months ahead?
The last quarter of 2016 proved to be challenging, with demand outstripping supply and so far this year, albeit early on, the signs are similar. We have had a healthy demand for retail and warehousing with a resultant rise in asking rents. The lack of demand for office space being maintained from late last year has resulted in an abundant choice for those requiring good quality office space at very competitive rates.
Another significant worry for tenants and business owners has been the upcoming revaluation of Business Rates. It seems we in the local business community have been spared with only modest increases in most areas, and indeed, quite a few reductions in the rateable values of our warehouses and shops. In conjunction with the doubling of Business Rate Relief from next month now would appear an excellent time for those considering either moving or starting a business, to dip their toes into the market!
We have successfully let premises in prime locations such as Stourbridge and Kingswinford High Street’s and large warehouses off Mucklow Hill, Halesowen and in Brierley Hill as well as Lye. Because of the high demand we urgently require quality retail premises and well sited warehousing, either to let or for sale. We are also experiencing high demand for investment premises and portfolios.
Let us hope that with the coming of Spring, we will see our local businesses and traders flourishing, along with the flowers. Oh, and the grass!