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Commercial property in healthy state

By Toby Shaw

 There may have been reports of uncertainly in the UK commercial property market post-Brexit, in particular suggestions of a downturn in London and the South East, but here in Shropshire the market continues to perform robustly. 

At TSR we have certainly found no evidence locally to support any downturn within the county since the EU Referendum. 

I have heard the national claims that both the investment and occupier sides of the market have been affected by the change in sentiment and that both rent and capital value expectations are now in negative territory. 

But there's been no evidence to suggest any significant knock-on effect in the Shropshire market, although a rural county like ours is less prone to large peaks and troughs than potentially would be the case in London. 

We have actually seen more situations post-Brexit of properties in Shrewsbury and the surrounding area regularly attracting best and final offers, which illustrates there is clearly an ongoing ready demand for commercial properties.  

Locally, there is most certainly an element of confidence in the market place. Businesses need to continue to look to the future and are subsequently planning their expansion programmes. 

This is the case not only in Shrewsbury as TSR’s other offices in Telford and Wolverhampton are experiencing a similar pattern, despite the Bank of England warning of a “sharp adjustment” in the commercial property sector. 

Indeed, one of the major issues we are currently experiencing is that perhaps there is not as much stock coming to the market, with a desperate shortage of new developments being identified to actually satisfy demand.    

There are hugely significant developments happening locally, with much excitement about the Shrewsbury South development, a 35-acre commercial development site in Oteley Road South in the town.  

Lands Improvement is seeking potential occupiers to build on the site and not only is it very important for the local economy, but also as a regional hub as well.  

The Shrewsbury South development will become a major estate for the town, providing a new area of mixed use commercial development. The commercial land is only one section of a 100-acre project, which forms part of the Shrewsbury South Sustainable Urban Extension, and will include homes, a community centre, a care home and a doctor's surgery.  

We are currently talking to a variety of interested parties and it’s a particularly notable development to be involved with moving forward.   

Equally, there is also a high level of interest in the gateway site adjacent to the Churncote Island, just off the A5 to the west of Shrewsbury.  

A prestigious greenfield site in a prime location, two plots - one of 5.24 acres, the other 2.55 acres - are available on Welshpool Road - offering scope for commercial development.   

Designated to be used to provide employment opportunities, this high profile site is one of the most significant to come to market in the Shrewsbury area for some time.

Part of the Sustainable Urban Extension Shrewsbury West programme, it has stimulated much interest from a wide variety of occupiers. 

We are looking to put together a landmark development, which will again help to underline the strength of the local commercial property market.  

Another local success story is Shrewsbury’s Vanguard Park at Battlefield, developed by Morris Property, with established companies continuing to be attracted to the second phase of the region’s most successful trade business park. 

Hire Station Ltd and JP McDougall & Co Ltd, trading as Dulux Decorator Cenre, are the two latest businesses to move in after letting high specification units.    

The signs are certainly all very positive for the local commercial property market as we look forward to another successful year in 2017.  

Toby Shaw is a partner at Towler Shaw Roberts, an established firm of regional surveyors currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.



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