RICS Commercial Market Survey for Q3 2020

Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Co

The latest RICS UK Commercial Survey for Q3 2020 reports a deeply negative outlook for retail and office rents, but reports industrials seeing a solid recovery. The Survey reports occupier demand at a net balance of -33%, a significant improvement on the -55% reported in Q2. However, 73% of survey contributors saw a considerable drop in occupier demand for retail floorspace, whilst demand for offices came in at -66%, but with occupier demand for industrial/warehousing showing a positive net balance of +22%. This was a sharp improvement from Q2 figure of -13%.

The Survey reports increased retail vacancies across the board including standard shops, shopping centres and department stores. In the office sector, availability is picking up at the strongest pace since 2009. In the investment market, the RICS Survey reports a further decline in investment enquiries of -27%, but this compares to -46% in Q2 2020.

RICS Survey contributor Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick & Co said “The post-holiday season bounce back is fading with the threat of local lockdowns, restaurants/pubs curfews and cinema closures. The economic uncertainty is holding back deals in most sectors of Swindon’s commercial property, whilst continuing trade deal uncertainties are not helping confidence, either.