Ruth Mitchell

Downturn in N.E. commercial property

The numbers of unoccupied commercial properties in the region is increasing, as regional variations become increasingly apparent, according to the latest RICS survey.

22 percent of surveyors noted a rise in available floor space, which has been attributed to money saving tactics adopted by business in reaction to the economic downturn.

As a result of these figures, more landlords are now being forced to offer incentive packages to fill their buildings. 11 percent f those questioned reported rises in inducements, and while this is positive news, it is still the slowest growth rate in four years.

Although demand for commercial property in the North East is positive, many surveyors are still pessimistic about rent expectations over the next quarter, reporting a net balance of -10. 18 percent of respondents have also predicted falls rather than rises is rental property values.

New developments have also fallen in the North East, registering a net balance of -5.

Commenting on the national perspective Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist said: “Broadly speaking, the rising amount of unoccupied floor space in the North East reflects the situation across many parts of the country, illustrating the markedly different economic conditions that separate the capital from the rest of the UK.

While the London property market will continue to enjoy the trappings of recovery, in many other parts of the country it could feel as if the icy winds of recession are continuing to bite.’’

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