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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
RICS Commercial Property Survey Q1 2008
Article Type: Newsbriefs From: Structural Survey, Volume 26, Issue 4
Keywords: Commercial property, Market, Trends
The balance of surveyors reporting demand for commercial property fell at the fastest pace for over six years and to the lowest level in eight years, says the RICS’s Commercial Property Survey. Surveyors reported that business demand for commercial property fell in the first quarter of 2008. A total of 30 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in demand compared to 15 per cent in Q4 2007. All sectors reported a fall for the second consecutive quarter with the retail sector showing the largest decline, dropping to the lowest balance in the survey’s history. A total of 40 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in retail demand, down from 27 per cent. The continuing credit turmoil and a slowing housing market is weighing upon both retail and consumer confidence.
New occupier enquiries also fell across all three sectors for the second consecutive month and at a faster pace. Financial turmoil has impacted upon decision making in the business community with many re-evaluating their demand for commercial property space. Unsurprisingly, the office sector has been the worst hit area. A total of 35 per cent more Chartered Surveyors reported a fall than a rise in new enquiries for offices down from 13 per cent. The supply side of the market has loosened considerably, although it is too early to tell whether the influx of new property onto the market is simply the result of a deteriorating business climate or also an attempt to avoid the empty property tax which has recently come into effect. Available space rose in the office sector for the first time in four and a half years while available retail and office space rose at the fastest pace on record.