Cautiously Optimistic?

The results of the latest RICS UK Commercial Market Survey suggest that lettings activity for business property stabilised in the final three months of 2010. Surveyors nationally continue to cite the uncertain near term outlook for the economy as a drag on the market with public spending cuts beginning to bite and the VAT hike squeezing real incomes.
These sentiments are mirrored by the team at Carigiet Cowen who despite the difficult market conditions experienced throughout 2010 have continued to let and sell a wide range of commercial property interests across the county. Notable successes in 2010 included.
The sale of the former Hewden depot at Durranhill; the sale of three blocks of property formerly occupied by STL at Kingstown including a 25,000sqft high bay warehouse and the sale of BPi Films production facility at Brampton. In terms of lettings, two separate deals at Kingstown Industrial Estate saw the arrival of national trade counter operators Screwfix Direct and Euro Car Parts who each leased units of 10,000sqft. Whilst in what is a traditionally quiet period, during the month either side of Christmas, a flurry of activity has seen Carigiet Cowen let or sell 3 office suites in Kendal and a further 5 units at Kingmoor Park and at Kingstown.
Richard Percival who has dealt with these transactions feels there continues to be a degree of both uncertainty and unpredictability to the commercial property market going into 2011. He says “the above results demonstrate as a firm we are actively pursuing and securing occupiers for vacant space but there are only so many parties out there with the desire, need and crucially ability to take on new premises at the current time. The ongoing difficulties in raising finance, coupled with VAT hike and the Government’s decision to dramatically reduce the qualifying threshold for empty rates relief on commercial property will all play a significant part in the fortunes of the property market in Cumbria as we move through 2011.”
For further advice on any commercial property matter contact Carigiet Cowen on 01228 544733 or