Large Acquisitions a Positive Sign for UK Commercial Property Market

After two years of steady recovery, some recent large acquisitions have made commercial property experts cautiously optimistic about the sector’s future.
With development having been slow since the market crash in previously buoyant areas such as Milton Keynes, experts are now exercising cautious optimism about the future and development potential after some large and high profile investments.
In the first two quarters of this year, Milton Keynes, which had been developing at a rapid pace for many years, had some exciting and notable property acquisitions which have signaled an upturn in the town’s commercial property market, and prompted talk about the possible return of some development activity.
Recent activity within warehouse and retail in the town has included Waitrose acquiring 320,00 sq ft of warehouse Technology Sectors List space, Dwell taking about half that amount and Furniture Village taking 104,000 sq ft of space.
In terms of office space, DHL have acquired 11,000 sq ft on Milton Keynes’ flagship business centre Midsummer Boulevard, Robert Half has taken 5000 sq ft and Surgi Call has acquired 9000 sq ft.
This activity means that transactions in the Milton Keynes commercial property market have returned to pre-recession levels, a definite reason for cautious optimism about the future of the city and the market in general. Having been chosen as a front runner of the government’s Business Neighbourhood Scheme due to the area’s initiatives to promote development and relaxed planning, the future looks rosy for the young town of roundabouts.
Milton Keynes is not the only city that is showing growth and a move away from the depressing statistics of the recession. In Birmingham, the City Council has recently sold land to the Elia Group, who develops and manages commercial property such as retail shopping centres. Meanwhile at the end of September Leeds 5 Lac Investment Business had what is being described as its biggest commercial property letting deal this year, as Ingeus UK took 12,000 sq ft of office space. According to Office Genie, who monitor price per desk of rented office space, Leeds has seen a slight rise in average prices this year due to a healthy market for space.
Similarly Manchester has seen a slight rise in prices for office space, and the market for commercial and industrial units to let in Manchester and the surrounding area seems healthy as well. Simply Be have taken a 10 year lease of just under 7,500 sq ft retail unit in Bury, while in Chester John Lewis has taken 38,000 sq ft of retail space, and some high profile office space acquisitions signal an exciting time in the North West.

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