Report says Kent commercial property market undeterred by uncertainty over Brexit
Kent commercial property market continues to move
Kent is defying Brexit downside as its property market continues with the upward trend. It is moving out of the uncertainty caused by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. The county is witnessing high rents, with regeneration schemes on the cards which are expected to boost the rates further.
Why is Kent property market moving?
According to a report by Kent County Council, the commercial property sector of Kent is well placed to withstand the Brexit uncertainty. The Kent Property Market Report 2016 is expected to cite factors such as large number of high value industries, affordable business space and proximity to Europe as factors responsible for a continued positive outlook for the county.
What the report says?
The report will show that there has been increase in demand for property which has triggered rents to unprecedented levels, leaving behind the pre-recession peak rates at the county’s major business parks, research by Gravesend-based Caxtons Chartered Surveyors suggests. The town centre office markets in the county are enjoying record rents. Co-produced by Kent County Council and Locate in Kent as well, the report is being unveiled at Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel. It is expected to reveal that the retail sector has seen slight increase in average prime rent. The rents have moved ahead in Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Dartford.
The report says, “The county’s retail sector will not be immune to economic uncertainty, although Kent’s historic and coastal towns are well placed to benefit from the sudden sharp depreciation of sterling attracting more tourist spending”. It concludes, “Our new relationship with Europe undoubtedly creates uncertainty over future business fortunes.
“Certainly, the recent upturn in business investment in the UK, which is so important to the commercial property market, may be threatened.
“However, Kent is well-placed to attract activity as maturing business clusters sustain vibrancy, delivering a virtuous circle of demand and economic activity.”
Chairman of Caxtons, Ron Roser said, “Kent has outstripped London with house price rises at 13% and there has been a substantial increase in prime industrial rents. “Compared to other areas across the South East the cost of business space is still competitive, which is attractive to relocating businesses.”
Kent County Council’s economic development chief Cllr Mark Dance said, “The year ahead will undoubtedly be challenging and there remain uncertainties, particularly with major elections in the USA, France and Germany. “But this report shows us that, with substantial planned investment and developments, Kent and Medway offers some of the most exciting economic growth prospects in the South East. “Our location, despite the unknown effects of Brexit, will remain a vital gateway to continental Europe and the county an attractive place for both domestic and international business.”
Chief executive Paul Wookey said, “While the Brexit process is likely to cause uncertainty in the future, what this year’s Kent Property Market Report shows is that Kent and Medway has a thriving and vibrant economy, which – coupled with its connectivity to the Channel Ports, airports and London and the rest of the country – make it an attractive proposition to companies looking to set up or relocate their operations”.
Meanwhile, Locate in Kent, an agency which encourages businesses to move to the county, helped 46 companies set up or expand their business in Kent last year, created 1,386 jobs and retained 1,085.