Commercial agent Zach Maiden of Vickery Holman has expressed concern that the lack of quality office stock will hurt Exeter’s city centre. ‘We’re in a vicious circle at the moment. Potential tenants are being pushed to out-of-town locations such as Winslade Park because of a lack of good quality or unique Grade A-B accommodation in the city centre. At the same time, rents are under pressure with a drop in demand, which means that landlords are less willing to refurbish or reconfigure their properties.’
Affordable retail in prominent positions in and around Exeter is still relatively strong and there is plenty of interest in the retail properties on offer with Vickery Holman. ‘It’s all about location, and not being unrealistic about market rents.’ Added Zach. ‘We’re seeing more independent traders entering the retail market, offering a much more diverse shopping experience in the more affluent towns in Devon. There’s an appetite for interesting outlets and shops selling ethically sourced products.’
Serviced offices have remained popular, due to the flexibility they offer to occupiers. ‘Landlords need to understand that they are competing with quality stock elsewhere and with more flexible leases in serviced offices or co-working spaces. However, there is so little stock available that we predict rents will stay around the level they are currently, unless something dramatic happens in the next few months.’ Commented Zach.