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UK shopping centres, urban demand and the commercial gold rush

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The UK saw a number of interesting property developments over the course of 2015, with shopping centre investments on the rise, demand growth in prime urban markets and the waning commercial property gold rush.

With 2016 just beginning, understanding some of the bigger developments of last year will help property investors to place themselves in the best possible position for the year ahead. Here are three of the biggest developments in the UK market.

Understanding the biggest property developments can help investors to place themselves in the best possible position.

Shopping centre investments showing no sign of slowing

According to a release from Knight Frank at the end of 2015, shopping centre investment volumes could well have grown above £5 billion, marking the best outturn since 2006. Interestingly, the organisation noted that retail sales volumes grew 4.7 per cent in the third quarter of the year.

Stephen Springham, the head of retail research at Knight Frank, noted that although there have been adverse conditions, market investment is improving. He explained that the accelerating trend throughout 2015 "inspires confidence" for this year.

Developments in prime urban markets

Knight Frank also came forward this year with regards to rising demand in prime urban UK markets. After studying indices for Oxford, Bristol, Bath and Cheltenham, Knight Frank explained that there's growing demand among buyers for homes in both towns and cities with access to schools and transport links, along with amenities. Now, there's an imbalance between supply and demand.

Further developments this year, including electrified rail, will help to improve the appeal of the regions.

Reliable rail links can improve the appeal of towns and cities.Reliable rail links can improve the appeal of towns and cities.

The waning gold rush

Judith Evans from the Financial Times noted that the commercial property gold rush could be coming to an end, as investment in commercial properties declined a total of 19 per cent in the second half of the year from the prior year. In the six months leading to December, the market saw around £32.7 worth of investment. This is down from £40.5 billion.

Interestingly, Judith Evans noted that commercial property investors may hold off ahead of the upcoming referendum this year. It's set to detail the UK's membership of the European Union, and it's clear the outcome could alter the market.

The property market in the UK is always changing, something that's really no surprise given the sheer number of ongoing developments and investors. Staying abreast of these changes is the best approach for those looking to invest in the market.

Date Published: 02 Mar 2016
Category: General News

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