Regional demand stokes commercial property market to record highs in 2014

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Commercial Property investment reached a record high of almost £55bn in 2014, according to DTZ.

But while London has dominated the market in recent years, demand in regions outside the capital was the driver for growth to £54.9m last year.

The value of investment outside of London rose 35 per cent from £25.4bn in 2013 to £34.4bn.

Major deals in Yorkshire included the £149.5m sale of Wakefield’s Trinity Walk and St Andrew’s Quay development in Hull, which changed hands for £95.6m.

At its 2015 outlook briefing, property services firm DTZ said last year was “the year to be bold” with property investment.

Investors looked to property outside of London due to the higher yields available, with occupier markets underpinned by high demand and limited stock supply, DTZ said.

The Yorkshire market returned to its pre-financial crisis peak, with transactions worth £1.7bn in 2014. The previous high of £1.6bn was seen in 2006.

Greg Davidson, investment director at DTZ, said investor appetite returned across all sectors from the first quarter of 2014.

Almost two thirds of Yorkshire’s deals were completed in the last half of the year, he said, largely due to a lack of stock in the first six months.

Looking ahead, Mr Davidson said: “We anticipate continued strong investor demand but with a more stable level of supply.

“Whilst there are wider issues to distract investors this year, the requirement to invest will remain and the argument for commercial property compelling, maintaining downward pressure on yields.”

DTZ downplayed some of the perceived risks to the market, including the upcoming general election and volatility in energy prices.

A possible EU referendum could lead to a “significant pause” in both investment and occupier activity in the lead up to the vote, but this would not be for several years, the firm said.