Investors remain focused on freehold property opportunities and demand in the industrial sector endures in the Eastern region, according to leading chartered surveyors and commercial property expert, Barker Storey Matthews - now part of Eddisons.

That’s the view of the market informed by its agency teams in Peterborough, Huntingdon, Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds ahead of the final trading quarter of the year. 

Barker Storey Matthews’ experience of the market, as the year has progressed, has seen investors and occupiers moving on from a ‘holding pattern’ of indecision which characterised the market towards the end of last year (2018) and at the very beginning of 2019. 

The ongoing low base interest rate régime of the Bank of England and the absence of better performing investment vehicles and asset use classes see commercial opportunities attract not only investors, but investor-occupiers too. 

The overall lack of investment stock - particularly industrial and warehouse units - sees brand new developments and the better calibre units of existing industrial stock acted on quickly by investors and occupiers alike. 

The office market remains fairly weak but, again, when pockets of quality existing stock and brand-new developments come forward, freehold and occupier interest can be secured relatively swiftly. 

In the retail market, Barker Storey Matthews’ experience reflects, in the main, the headlines about the financial woes of the established High Street names.  However, there has been demand for small units in secondary locations driven by independent retailers. 

Commenting on Barker Storey Matthews’ latest market view, Richard Jones, Director, Barker Storey Matthews, said, “BREXIT was a feature in our markets at the very start of the year but, while always in the background, as the year progressed, investors and occupiers decided to take control and make decisions to take their businesses forward. 

“Manufacturers with full order books need new or additional production and warehouse space.  It’s easier for office occupiers to find ways not to move - such as working from home or hot-desking arrangements – unless they absolutely have to. 

“With the shake-up of High Street retail yet to play out fully, it’s those independents with a niche offer or service which cannot be replicated online who will continue to characterise retail market property moves in the short and medium term.  

“We share the industry’s concerns about the lack of immediately available serviced land for development and, also, the long term development pipeline and land supply for commercial development. 

“Undoubtedly, the final quarter of this year will be dominated by any form BREXIT takes. 

“However, it’s been business as usual for our agency teams in their core sectors so far this year and we have no reason to think that this will not be the case for the remainder of the year.”