Commercial Department Market Commentary

Friday, 20 December 2019

Commentary by Nigel Underwood and David Grove on the positive 12 months in the Rugby Commercial department.  A year to remember despite the Brexit uncertainty of 2019, the team have built on a good year in 2018 and transactions for 2019 have seen a significant increase from the previous year despite other agents’ predictions of doom and gloom.

Nigel’s upbeat view has been backed up by the vastly increased number of formal valuations carried out on behalf of lenders, pension funds and private investors together with successful negotiations for rent reviews and lease renewals. 

Appetite for property

Developers and investors’ appetite for in and out of town property is as buoyant as ever and we continue to struggle to satisfy demand from buyers from London, Birmingham and Manchester. Examples of properties that have been completed this year include the sale of a bank investment on the High Street in Daventry to an investment company based in London and the sale of an industrial unit in Hinckley.  We have also received two offers for the Woolworths/Poundland building at 30 High Street, Rugby, a proposed redevelopment of retail/leisure on the ground floor in addition to 22 (or more) flats on the upper three floors. The former Scotts Tyres building in Kingsthorpe, Northampton, also sold to a developer earlier this year to one of three potential, proceedable purchasers who offered in excess of the guide price. 

David Grove, Senior Surveyor has this year concluded a number of deals on behalf of mortgages in possession and lenders in general with guide prices being exceeded in most cases.

Light Industrial Premises

The commercial market for office and light industrial premises remains strong in the Rugby and surrounding areas. Howkins & Harrison have concluded a number of lettings on the Central Park Office development which now sees headline rents achieving £15.50 to £16.50 per sq. ft. The successful letting of Unit 7 iQuarter in December, to an occupier who has relocated within Rugby has seen headline rents at £16.50 per sq. ft. This recent letting represents refurbished Grade A office stock whilst office lettings at Central Park, providing the slightly lower specification, are achieving £15.50 per sq. ft. 

This continued demand for commercial leasehold offices reflects Rugby’s excellent location, given its communications to the main arterial routes and its direct train line to London Euston. The continual local expansion has firmly placed Rugby on the economic map as a location of choice for various industries and retailers.

Commercial Industrial properties have also fared well. Howkins & Harrison, acting for landlords, have successfully disposed of a light industrial unit on the Lime Kilns Industrial Estate in Hinckley, which attracted strong levels of interest and achieved a sale price in excess of the original asking price. 

Demand continues to outstrip supply

We would consider that demand for both freehold office and light industrial units will continue given the shortage of stock throughout the region will continue to see strong levels of demand through 2020.

With more certainty in the market following the General Election, the team have predicted a bumper year to kick off the new decade and are looking forward to advising existing and new clients on the range of specialist services offered from rent reviews, lease renewals, valuations for all purposes, and the sale and letting of retail, industrial office and leisure units. 

For further information and a free appraisal please contact or or call 01788 564675/01788 564672