New Year new opportunities to buy and sell

Market sentiment in 2013 is likely to build on what is proving to be a better last quarter of 2012, according to Ian Clark, senior asset manager at Real Estate Investors, the West Midlands-based property investment company.

Great opportunities for cash buyers to acquire prime stock continued, but rents were holding and incentives were likely to reduce next year.

“Opportunities to let good quality office space in central Birmingham will always be there but the availability is diminishing as occupier demand increases,” he noted.

His comments follow REI’s acquisition of 85-89 Colmore Row, Birmingham, for £4 million in cash. The building was part of Cavendish Estates (London) Ltd and was purchased from administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers. Tenants include Chubb Insurance, Malcolm Hollis LLP, Building Design Partnership, Fleetmilne (Birmingham) Ltd, DTE Leonard Curtis Ltd, Fawcett & Pattni Solicitors and JMP Consultants Ltd.

Mr Clark said: “2012 saw a steady if slow market with the three main elements being: professional firms consolidating, companies moving into the region and existing businesses taking the opportunity to expand/relocate out of inferior space, all on the back of the rent free periods and incentives being offered as a result of weak demand.

“These same factors will continue to be felt but the opportunity for bargains may have peaked. Across our portfolio we are noting significantly improved occupier demand.”