Anthony Wiggins, head of Agency and West Midland commercial property specialists Wiggins Lockett Thompson reports the West Midlands commercial property stock levels remain low and the quality of what remains is being improved at too slow a rate. The market highs and lows are not dovetailing cleanly enough to give smaller developers the confidence to take the plunge and build speculatively.
If you’re looking and see something that suits – grab it.
The focus for businesses remains on making the best of the buildings you’ve got. Get surveyor representation and advice as early as possible when negotiating to stay, leave or relocate.
Owning commercial property is still viewed as a sensible place to put your money in the long term, but the stagnancy of the market has meant that there are few new properties to buy and the rental market still has not caught up with the increasing land and building costs. There are still sadly few developments under way.
If your company can afford to build, then you should call a surveyor and ask them to arrange it. But get it right. Build something too specific to you it will cost you. Build with as diverse a range of occupiers as possible in mind. It won’t be your building forever.
It remains, therefore, the opportunities such as the possibility to acquire 26 Church Street, 3 storey office premises in Kidderminster, do become attractive to those with an eye for long term income. Whilst the building is not letting well due to the stagnancy of the office market in Kidderminster (and West Midlands as a whole outside of Birmingham) it does have an income of c.£38,000 per annum with space remaining unfilled and is likely to have its day again as prospective developments in the vicinity have a positive impact.
Good space is letting. Towns on the periphery of the West Midlands such as Telford are seeing unprecedented occupancy levels but the building must be right. Those willing to invest like the owners of Hortonpark who are now at 100% capacity following a Wiggins Lockett Thompson managed refurbishment will see a return and good level of rent.”