Is a struggling high street going to mean more opportunity?

7th October 2021

By Will Leyland

That’s not to say, of course, that this is some kind of collapse in commercial property, but there is an emerging and real migration of use for property on the high street and in city centres.

For anybody interested in property, business or the economy it’s really no great surprise that the number of high street properties being used by retail business is decreasing at quite a fast rate and, in fact, there are a large number of vacant properties all across the UK.

There is an argument to be made that the pandemic has accelerated this process as buyers and customers move their business online rather than going out to shops and physical retail premises.

The news has covered at some length the perceived damage to the community that these vacant properties cause, however, it seems to be becoming clear that, in fact, it can present a great opportunity to reshape the centres of our communities.

If we imagine a space where residential and commercial properties can be brought together to make the most of space in the centre of communities, as well as promoting things like green spaces, less car parking, better public transport, and more affordable spaces, these are the opportunities that lie ahead.

New legislation

As reported on by Simon Jenkins of the Guardian, “By approving the building of residential homes on ailing shopping streets, planning minister Robert Jenrick effectively allowed any shop, restaurant, cafe or business premise in England to become a house. Since almost everywhere houses make more money, this puts every high street under threat.”

Although Jenkins takes quite a negative view of this new legislation, he shows how these new laws make it much easier for developers, investors and buyers to turn commercial property on the high street into residential property.

Quite aside from the aforementioned opportunity for better spaces, the disparity between supply and demand is a real issue and this can go some way to meeting that demand in a much more effective way than we do right now.

Essentially, if the UK wants to address the problem of renters and buyers struggling to find housing then we simply need to build more.

For investors

Overall, this is also good news for investors. Cities and town centres are bustling again with activity as people return to work, even if they’re only back in the office part-time.

More investment opportunities in these types of communities and urban centres will always be a good thing, and the likelihood of demand dropping significantly is low.

A rebalancing of how our communities and centres approach property is ultimately good and gives the people who live there more of a say in how they’d like that space to be used.

With property prices increasing quickly along with demand and the average rents, now is an excellent time to consider increasing your investment presence in these types of areas considering these new opportunities that are arising.

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Is a struggling high street going to mean more opportunity?

07 October 2021

That’s not to say, of course, that this is some kind of collapse in commercial property, but there is an emerging and real migration of use for property on the high street and in city centres.

For anybody interested in property, business or the economy it’s really no great surprise that the number of high street properties being used by retail business is decreasing at quite a fast rate and, in fact, there are a large number of vacant properties all across the UK.

There is an argument to be made that the pandemic has accelerated this process as buyers and customers move their business online rather than going out to shops and physical retail premises.

The news has covered at some length the perceived damage to the community that these vacant properties cause, however, it seems to be becoming clear that, in fact, it can present a great opportunity to reshape the centres of our communities.

If we imagine a space where residential and commercial properties can be brought together to make the most of space in the centre of communities, as well as promoting things like green spaces, less car parking, better public transport, and more affordable spaces, these are the opportunities that lie ahead.

New legislation

As reported on by Simon Jenkins of the Guardian, “By approving the building of residential homes on ailing shopping streets, planning minister Robert Jenrick effectively allowed any shop, restaurant, cafe or business premise in England to become a house. Since almost everywhere houses make more money, this puts every high street under threat.”

Although Jenkins takes quite a negative view of this new legislation, he shows how these new laws make it much easier for developers, investors and buyers to turn commercial property on the high street into residential property.

Quite aside from the aforementioned opportunity for better spaces, the disparity between supply and demand is a real issue and this can go some way to meeting that demand in a much more effective way than we do right now.

Essentially, if the UK wants to address the problem of renters and buyers struggling to find housing then we simply need to build more.

For investors

Overall, this is also good news for investors. Cities and town centres are bustling again with activity as people return to work, even if they’re only back in the office part-time.

More investment opportunities in these types of communities and urban centres will always be a good thing, and the likelihood of demand dropping significantly is low.

A rebalancing of how our communities and centres approach property is ultimately good and gives the people who live there more of a say in how they’d like that space to be used.

With property prices increasing quickly along with demand and the average rents, now is an excellent time to consider increasing your investment presence in these types of areas considering these new opportunities that are arising.

Will Leyland

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