Tough for retail market

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Yorkshire and Humberside’s retail property market is continuing to struggle, but prospects are improving in the construction sector, according to the latest surveys by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The RICS UK Commercial Market Survey shows demand for retail premises in Yorkshire and Humberside failed to keep pace with availability in the first three months of 2012 and rental expectations fell.

Twenty percent more surveyors in the region predicted falls rather than rises in rental values over the coming three months and there was an increase in available floor space, despite a fall in new developments.

RICS Yorkshire and Humberside spokesman, Richard Corby of Edwards Symmons said: “The retail property sector continued to suffer in the early part of the year with falling demand resulting in the continuing negative outlook for future rental values and activity.

“With the government’s response to the Portas Review having been announced, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the high street and the retail sector as a whole.

“Across many parts of the country, it seems that the commercial property sector in general is continuing to struggle, with a lack of affordable finance proving a big barrier to growth.”

Construction industry activity levels in Yorkshire and Humberside edged upwards in the first three months of the year according to RICS.

More significantly, says RICS, predictions of future construction activity across the region improved markedly during the first quarter of the year.