Autumn Commercial Market Update

It has certainly been an interesting and busy few months in the commercial property market. We have been working on a wide range of properties and sites in the area recently and are delighted with some of the results that we have achieved for our clients including fully letting the first phase of a brand new business park just off the A24 in Washington. The letting of the first 10 units has led to phase two which is currently under construction.

MichaelJones_TheCausewayWe have also overseen a £15m site sale, one of the biggest commercial deals that the area has seen for some time, at the Causeway in Worthing which included the successful negotiation of a desperately needed new 10,000sq ft. NHS medical centre.

So how is the Commercial market doing?

Like its residential counterpart, demand continues to grow for commercial premises, particularly for industrial and warehouse space. As we enter the final few months of 2016, lack of availability and rents on new industrial space are achieving in excess of £8.00 per sq ft. (£10.00 per sq ft. in Brighton) meaning that businesses who need to expand or downsize or who are facing a lease end, may need to consider their options with a potential move further afield due to a lack of available space in their preferred location.

Changes to Permitted Development Rights

Permitted Development Rights (PDR) which allows owners to change certain commercial buildings into residential homes without the need for drawn out planning applications has resulted in a rise in investors looking to buy empty office buildings with a view to converting them to flats or houses as well as existing landlords assessing their current assets value compared to that of a change to residential use. As a result of this, we are seeing a shortage of available office space in some areas.

New stamp duty rules and business rate relief for small businesses

There was some good news for small businesses in the Spring when the then Chancellor George Osborne announced changes in the way that stamp duty on freehold commercial property and leasehold premium transactions is calculated with a slice-based approach being introduced. This means that SDLT is payable on the portion of the transaction value which falls within each tax band, unlike the current system where the rates apply to the whole transaction value.

We have seen a rise in startup businesses leasing premises as the Chancellor also announced that from April 2017, properties with a rateable value of £12,000 and below, will receive 100 per cent business rate relief. There will be a tapered relief for businesses with properties worth between £12,000 and £15,000.

It was stated that the outcome of the new relief will mean 600,000 small businesses would not pay a penny in business rates from next year, while a further 250,000 would experience a fall in their rates.

If you are thinking of selling or letting your commercial property and would like us to provide you with a valuation or you are seeking commercial property in West Sussex, the Commercial Sales and Lettings team would be happy to discuss your requirements. You can contact us on 01903 201212.


Content accurate at time of publishing.

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