A shortage of smaller office and industrial units in and around Droitwich, and elsewhere in the Wychavon District, coupled with high demand for space, pushed up commercial property rents and freehold prices to record levels in 2018, according to Worcestershire’s largest independent commercial property agency GJS Dillon.
Wychavon presently has the lowest office vacancy rate in Worcestershire at 0.9%, while the industrial vacancy rate is only 2.8%.
The high number of small and micro businesses (employing under 50 people) in Wychavon looking for office space and general purpose business units of under 1,500 sq ft, drove up average office rents to a record £12.70psf, and saw headline rates on business units reach more than £9.50psf, a county record figure.
“Take-up of office space in 2018 was down some 40% on 2017, at 18,744 sq ft, which reflects the lack of available office space under 4,500 sq ft,” says Andrew Lewis, Head of Agency at GJS Dillon, writing in GJS Dillon’s Worcestershire Commercial Property Market Report 2018/2019.
“The record high headline industrial rents also demonstrate high demand and lack of availability, with more smaller industrial units required to meet the need from businesses which want to start and grow in the district,” continues Mr Lewis.
“Until these needs are catered for by new developments, we envisage rents and capital values will rise in 2019.”
According to Mr Lewis, new office and industrial schemes around Junction 5 of the M5 could be one answer to the shortage of smaller units.
He says: “Easy access to the national motorway network is already a key factor in attracting businesses to Droitwich. Motorway junctions provide ready-made, existing infrastructure around which to base industrial and business parks, and we are advocating that land around Junction 5 should be designated for employment use to help small and medium size businesses stay and grow in the town.”
GJS Dillon produces an annual review of Worcestershire’s commercial property market, based on figures and analysis from CoStar, which it uses to advise vendors, purchasers, developers, landlords and tenants. Further details about the 2018/2019 market report can be found at https://www.gjsdillon.co.uk/marketreport or from Andrew Lewis on tel. 01905 676169 or email. firstname.lastname@example.org.