In the markets for commercial property, London is showing indications of heating up. There has been rumour of a new property bubble, rising out of the ashes of the last, with politicians and senior economists equally keen not to exaggerate the odds. The last boom deflated with the credit crunch, that saw values in areas of the capital drop by as much as 50 percent. The low interest rates and quantitative easing brought in to address this, as well as the weak pound, meant that investment has returned – and the time frame for new development meant that bottlenecks further increased demand. There has been great interest from outside the UK, with Asian investors looking for bargains here. A shop for sale in London can be a goldmine in the right hands – either for your own business or to rent out. Shops to let in North London have seen steadily rising rents in recent times. And although this might seem like a problem, it perversely gives rise to new opportunities for those prepared to move quickly.

The dynamic of ever-increasing rents has not met with complete approval. Although it is seen as a sign of a recovering economy, the reality on the ground can be quite different. Traders who have worked for years in the same street are seeing their rents rising beyond what they can afford, as the property market races ahead of the retail sector of the economy. The result: the price of their wares rises, and both shoppers and vendors move online looking for cheaper alternatives. Gaps are appearing once again as traders find it too costly to stay.

Some sectors are immune from these trends. An eatery or a coffee shop for sale in London has a better chance of making things work – you can’t purchase the coffee-drinking experience online. So some shops to rent in North London can buck the trend, whilst others will simply accept the higher prices and see their margins squeezed (or the difference passed on to customers). The thing to remember is that commercial property London is not a homogeneous picture: different sectors and areas act very differently. The news might be driven by the price of grade A office space in the Square Mile; the reality on the ground for retail is rather different. Opportunities still exist for buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants; it’s just a question of finding the right shop and timing.

Please visit http://www.claridges-commercial.co.uk

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