Continued take-up compounds lack of supply in the industrial property market

The Midlands shed market put in a good performance during the third quarter of the year with take-up 15 per cent up on the same period in 2011.

According to the latest statistics from CBRE, from July to September take-up of large industrial units (over 100,000 sq ft) totalled 530,000 sq ft across the East and West Midlands – a 15 per cent increase on the Q3 2011 total.

In the year to date, however, take-up was almost half (41 per cent) behind last year’s year to date total, at 2.69m sq ft and 4.6m sq ft respectively.

Nationally, take-up at the end of the third quarter totalled 2.64m sq ft, virtually the same as in Q3 2011. Half of this space was taken-up by the retail sector, which continues to dominate the market due to demand for larger units. The third party logistics sector was the second most active sector, accounting for 20 per cent of take-up. Continue reading


Survey: Lack of finance, skills and housing are main barriers to growth

Financial constraints and a lack of available housing are two of the biggest barriers to local economic development, according to a survey of councillors across England and Wales.

With the Conservatives preparing to gather in Birmingham for their annual conference, the survey, carried out by ComRes on behalf of construction company Willmott Dixon, found that a quarter of councillors believe that financial constraints, such as a lack of funding and budget cuts, is the single largest barrier to growth, closely followed by a shortage of housing (18 per cent).

The survey also identified the key challenges around local inward investment, with poor skills and transport links cited as the main areas for concern. Nearly half (46 per cent) of councillors point to low levels of skills in the local workforce as the main barrier for inward investment, with 41 per cent also highlighting concerns over transport links – a key area under review by the Government as it looks at ways to kick-start the economy. Continue reading

Landlords hit by travelodge downsizing

Midlands’ landlords have been hit with a wake-up call following Travelodge’s Corporate Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The budget hotel operator is seeking to offload more than a dozen of its hotels in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Travelodge, currently the largest hotel brand in Birmingham, is aiming to transfer the leases to other operators as part of a CVA and a financial overhaul designed to address its £700million debt pile. Continue reading

Surveyors land new roles at CBRE

Two surveyors from the Birmingham office of property consultancy CBRE are celebrating after landing new roles.

Miles Jones, who joined CBRE in 2009 as a graduate, has been promoted to senior surveyor within the property asset management department.

Miles works on both the national and regional property asset management teams, with clients including CBRE Global Investors, Stainton Group and State Street Global Advisors. Continue reading

Take-up along M42 powers ahead of city centre

Office take-up along the M42 is outpacing take-up in Birmingham city centre for the first time since official take-up figures were collated in 2005.

In the first half of 2012, 401,691 sq ft of office space was let along the M42 corridor, compared with just 147,654 sq ft in Birmingham’s central office core.

The half-year figures for the M42 have already surpassed 2011’s total take –up of 198,337 sq ft. Continue reading

Montague reforms could speed up housing provision in Brum

A government report designed to tackle Britain’s chronic housing shortage has been welcomed by a Birmingham residential property expert.

Adrian Willet, a director in the development team at CBRE, claims the Montague Report’s proposals to relax the level of affordable housing private developers deliver could encourage much needed investment in the private rented sector (PRS).

The proposals were endorsed by the government today [6 September], when prime minister David Cameron announced the affordable housing rules would be relaxed as part of a package of new measures designed to boost construction and housing.

Mr Willet said: “We are seeing a fundamental shift in residential occupational trends.

“With mortgage finance hard to come by, many of this and the next generation will be long-term renters. The need to provide more homes for rent is therefore vital.” Continue reading

CBRE boosts development team with new hire

Martin Guest, MD of the Birmingham office of CBRE, and Adrian Willet, newly appointed development director at the firm.

Adrian Willet has joined CBRE as a director in the firm’s development team in Birmingham.

A development specialist, advising on land sales and acquisitions as well as residential investment and student housing markets, Mr Willet joins from Savills, where he was also a director.

Previously, he was managing director of G&C Finance plc, the development finance business; development director – Midlands, for Crest Nicholson plc and director – residential development for the Midlands at DTZ. Continue reading