Retail rents to begin rising after years as property market heats

AFTER a long period of weakness, surveyors now predict that retail rents will begin to rise again, for the first time since the financial crisis began.

Surveyors now predict that rents will increase across the commercial sector, in retail, industrial and office property, but this is the first time that more respondents expect rents to rise than fall in retail.

An adjustment to rents could be painful for squeezed retailers, many of which have been buttressed by the weak property market. In the next six months, surveyors expect rents to rise by only 0.5 per cent, but demand appears to be rising.

Tom Ironside, of the British Retail Consortium commented on the findings: “The expectation that rents will rise for the first time since the downturn is of concern; with recovery still fragile and retailers under substantial cost pressures from business rates, moving to increase rents would be out of step with the ongoing challenges facing the industry,” Ironside added.