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Retail rents bottoming out

Published:  22 February, 2010

Average retail property rents declined just over 8 per cent in 2009 according to Cushman & Wakefield. But the agent is forecasting no further falls for 2010.

In its latest quarterly update on the UK market, Cushman & Wakefield says retail rents fell by a further 1 per cent in the final quarter of 2009, but the rate of decline was slower than earlier in the year. Most of the UK’s major cities saw rental falls in the final quarter, although London has bucked the trend throughout the economic downturn and rents have increased to new highs with Bond Street recording a 9.7 per cent year-on-year rise.

Occupier activity increased towards the year-end, although availability remains at just over 10 per cent - down from around 12 per cent in October. And the agents says landlords continue to be more realistic about rents and lease terms and are agreeing healthier incentive packages to achieve lettings.

Darren Yates, associate in Cushman & Wakefield’s European research group, said: “Select parts of the UK retail market such as London continue to outperform and, encouragingly, there are signs in some areas where demand is beginning to exceed supply. While a strong demand-led recovery is not on the cards for the immediate future, the retail sector is at least more stable than 12 months ago.”