City business chiefs given rundown on fast improving market

Leaders of Bristol’s banking and legal communities were given a sector by sector rundown on the city’s fast improving commercial prospects at Colliers International’s annual Breakfast Briefing last week.

Organised by Abby Pugh, head of Colliers International’s Valuation and Advisory Services team, more than fifty business chiefs were informed that activity across Bristol’s commercial property sectors was returning to, and in some instances, out-performing pre-recession levels.

Abby Pugh said: “The overwhelming message from the event was continued positivity in the transactional and investment sectors with a significant increase in confidence.

“Money is being made available by the funding market and the recovery is now well established.

“Rental levels and capital values are returning to pre-recession levels as demand increases.”

Head of Office Tim Davies said rental and capital values were increasing across the industrial sector.  The Dot Com sector will continue to drive the market and there will be a return to speculative development.

Director of Offices, James Preece reported that office take up levels in the first nine months of 2014 had already exceeded the total 2013 level.

Director of Out of Town Retail Nick Turk told the audience retail warehouse rents around the city had recovered with Gallagher Retail Park in east Bristol achieving more than £40 per sq ft.

Nick also gave an overview of new entrants to the out of town sector, where consumer experience is now deemed as important as convenience.

“The key to a successful shopping centre is to combine shopping and leisure, resulting in more dwell time and discretionary spend. The overall experience with food and bars, fun shops and a good mix of independent retailers will still bring the crowds.”

Richard Coombs highlighted a number of recent investment transactions within the south west where yields have compressed to pre-recession levels, driven in large part by the institutions having vast amounts of money to invest.

Rounding up the event, Colliers International’s Sustainability Adviser David Eynon discussed the implications of the 2011 Energy Act as well as drawing the audience’s attention to Bristol’s role as European Green Capital next year.