INDUSTRY NEWS

Mixed feelings about commercial property market

A survey by taxpayer-owned Lloyd’s Banking Group has revealed a roughly even split in estate agents’ optimism about the country’s commercial property market. Forty-six percent of responding businesses expected no improvement in the current conditions. However, this leaves over half expecting some increase in confidence.

August was a poor month, with values rising only 0.1 percent across the board for commercial property. London, however, has bucked the trend, with a shortage of new developments bringing a healthy-looking recovery. A number of high-profile office space sales have occurred in recent months, including many from overseas investors.

The consensus among the pessimists is that the flat growth reflects market fundamentals, and that properties are currently valued about right for the present state of the economy. Factors such as sovereign debt concerns in the Eurozone, as well as the recession and fragile recovery at home, have compounded reluctance to invest – except in the City, which remains in demand.

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