THE East Midlands was a star performer in 2014, emerging as one of the strongest regional economies outside of Greater London according to Innes England's Market Insite report.
The Innes England Market Insite report has been monitoring the regional property market for more than a decade – providing individual focuses on Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.
Across the region, the 2015 report highlights:
• Increased levels of speculative development and refurbishment across the region
• Investment sector leads the way as confidence returns to the market
• Multi-million pound investments in transport and leisure delivering excellent facilities across the region, with more to come in 2015
Tim Garratt, managing director at Innes England, said: “The East Midlands has really pushed itself to the fore during 2014, emerging as one of the strongest regional economies in the UK, and the property market is undoubtedly reflecting that.
“Commercial property prices are approaching pre-crash levels in some sectors in the region and the UK is set to power ahead in 2015. One of the most significant indicators of an increased confidence in the market is the return of speculative refurbishment such as Threadneedle Investment’s at Loxley House at Riverside Business Park in Nottingham.
“This trend is likely to continue into 2015, as the supply of good quality and readily available industrial and logistics space in particular has hit low levels.”
Activity levels across key sectors of the property market continued to improve throughout 2014, illustrating a return of confidence from businesses and investors as the regional economy continues to grow.
“The mood across the East Midlands property market is a positive one, as we look ahead to what is set to be an exciting 2015. A number of significant projects across the region reached completion last year, with many set to take strides forward over the coming months,” added Tim.
“The £27m sports arena and velodrome on Pride Park in Derby is set to open in the early part of 2015, delivering top quality sporting facilities to the city. Also in Derby, Compendium Living’s £100m Castleward regeneration scheme is also nearing completion with sales rates on the residential element ahead of predicted levels and interest in the commercial space significant.
“In Nottingham, improvements to the retail offering are well underway with the £40m redevelopment works at intu Victoria Centre set for completion in December, with a range of new restaurants due to open in time for Christmas. Plans for a multi-million revamp of intu Broadmarsh are also due to be submitted for planning in the early part of this year too.
“The NET tram extension, which was due for completion in 2014, has experienced delays, causing frustrations, but the newly revamped Nottingham train station has been welcomed by the city.
“Leicester has also had a very positive year, recording the highest takeup of office space for three years with the largest letting a 45,000 sq ft until at St George’s Tower to Study Group. Investment levels in the city were also high, recording transactions of £731m with the showpiece the sale of the remaining 40 per cent stake in Highcross by Hammerson.”
It is anticipated that 2015 will see continued improvements across the market in the East Midlands, with a number of important schemes already well underway across the region.
Tim said: “One of the biggest challenges facing the market at the moment is a lack of good quality stock, but already a number of schemes have been announced to deliver high quality space throughout the East Midlands.
“In Derby, stock levels will be boosted following plans laid out by Goodman and Anglesea Capital to deliver an initial 930,000sq ft of logistics space in 2015, which will include a 323,895sq ft unit at Derby Commercial Park.
“Meanwhile, in Leicester BlackRock and Graftongate Developments have submitted a planning application to develop almost one million sq ft at Sunningdale Business Park.
“In Nottingham, the return of speculative refurbishment has already begun to supplement stock levels in the city, a trend that I fully expect to see continue during 2015, not only in Nottingham but across the region.”East