Appetite returns for investment in regional property

Rob Hepworth, associate at the Sheffield office of Knight Frank
Rob Hepworth, associate at the Sheffield office of Knight Frank
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Investors’ appetite for property in regional centres including Sheffield, may have returned, according to property consultancy Knight Frank.

Rob Hepworth, an associate at the Sheffield office of Knight Frank, reckons last year was a watershed for UK commercial property as economic recovery draws more investors off the sidelines.

“As well as demand picking up, we are also seeing a change in what stock is in demand, with regional offices and industrial back on investors’ shopping lists,” says Mr Hepworth.

“Recent transactions towards the end of 2013 highlight that investor appetite has returned. A selection of the year’s notable regional deals includes the 6,096 sq ft retail unit with ancillary office space above on Fargate. Home to current tenant O2, the building was sold by vendor M&G Real Estate to a private investor in November for £1,650,000.”

Mr Hepworth says the property generated strong interest from a cross section of potential purchasers.

The deal was one of only a few high street retail deals done in Sheffield recently, so it was an encouraging sign, at a time when the sector was still working through structural changes.

“The latter half of 2013 has seen increased regional transactional volumes in the UK including Sheffield with improved pricing encouraging further sales,” says Mr Hepworth.

“Where pricing expectations are realistic and the product backed by strong fundamentals, we have seen a dramatic increase in requirements for stock.”