Leases set to expire ‘to drive market’

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Expiring leases will be the main driver in the commercial property market in Yorkshire over the next few years, according to Lambert Smith Hampton’s Guy Gilfillan.

Mr Gilfillan, who heads the property consultancy’s regional operations, says 800 significant lease opportunities totalling in excess of 850,000 square feet of space will become available, in Yorkshire between now and the beginning of 2016.

“In our experience around 30 per cent of tenants choose to relocate at the first lease break and up to 60 per cent at the second,” says Mr Gilfillan.

“Whilst I recognise that existing landlords will fight hard to keep their tenants, many won’t stay due to a number of factors including location and quality and size of accommodation.

“So if you are a tenant, you need to plan early to take advantage of an upcoming lease expiry and if you are a landlord or a developer there is a significant opportunity if you are prepared to take the risk of financing new developments or refurbishing existing ones.

“There is a major opportunity for landlords to refurbish existing building stock particularly with new developments so hard to find at present and with occupiers unable to wait the 12 to 36 months it takes for new schemes to be constructed.”