RICS survey finds record demand for renting shops

High Street Shoppers x224

Demand for renting retail space in the UK has jumped by a record level during the third quarter of the year according to the latest RICS Commercial Property Survey.

In good news for the high street, 27% more chartered surveyors reported rises rather than falls in demand for shops, a record high since the survey began in 1998.

While demand remains low by historic standards, every part of the country saw demand for retail space increase with London seeing the most notable growth.

The amount of new retail space being built across the country also rose slightly (net balance +6 percent).

Meanwhile, demand for all types of commercial premises, such as office and industrial space, also grew during the period as a net balance of 36%more respondents reported increasing demand. This growth in interest resulted in rental expectations for the coming year also increasing at the most substantial rate since the second quarter of 2007.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said: “The pick-up in the desire to occupy retail space is broadly reflective of the improved trend in high street spending. “That does not, however, mean that the big challenges facing the sector have disappeared. Rent expectations are still largely soft away from the South East part of the country and it is mainly in London where the numbers are strongly positive.”