It’s a buyers’ market as available space grows

LANDLORDS are increasingly offering incentive packages for commercial property as recession continues to bite the sector.

The latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) commercial market survey also shows rents under pressure in the east of England.

For companies looking for space to grow across the East of England, which includes Bedfordshire, it is undoubtedly a buyers’ market.

David Potter, RICS East operations director, said: “Broadly speaking, the rising amount of unoccupied floor space in the East of England reflects the situation across many parts of the country, illustrating the markedly different economic conditions that separate the capital from the rest of the UK.

“Moreover, this starkly contrasting picture is expected to persist for some time. While the London property market will continue to enjoy the trappings of recovery, in many other parts of the country it could feel as if the icy winds of recession are continuing to bite.’’

The level of unoccupied commercial property space continued to grow in the East of England during the three months to June.

Seven per cent more surveyors in the region reported rises rather than falls in available floor space, as fewer companies looked for space due to the economic downturn.

RICS says as a result of this growing availability, the number of incentive packages offered by landlords to secure a letting in the region continued to increase.

Some 16 per cent more respondents reported rises rather than falls in inducements.

Despite demand for commercial property in the East of England remaining positive, surveyors appear pessimistic about rent expectations for the coming three months.

Expectations for the region’s office space were particularly bleak, with 14 per cent more surveyor respondents predicting falls rather than rises in rental values.

New development starts continued to fall in the East of England as that sector, too, struggled.