The Teesside market is expected to hold steady.
The area's industrial stock was once again the star performer in terms of the amount of space transacted, with the team completing deals on more than 700,000 sq ft in the last 12 months.
Activity included the sale of 86,000 sq ft to Expert Cables in Hartlepool; the let of 38,000 sq ft to Cello Electronics in Bishop Auckland; the let of 31,000 sq ft to MediTek in Newton Aycliffe; 20,000 sq ft let to DPE Automotive on Coatham Avenue also in Newton Aycliffe; 30,000 sq ft sold on Henson Road in Darlington to ESS and 46,000 sq ft at Teesside Industrial Estate sold to Direct Line Supplies.
While individual retailer fortunes have been largely mixed overall, the local retail market continues to move. One example is a new retail parade development on Neasham Road next to Darlington Railway Station. Here, agents have received a strong level of interest from multiple national and regional operators for units which are available in 500, 800 and 1,000 sq ft lots and subject to agreeing terms, the development could be on site later in the year. In the office market there has been an increased level of movement, with highlights including the letting of 47,000 sq ft of office space at Lingfield Point to AMEC and the letting of Tranquility House at Hartlepool Marina.
Increasing enquiries for space are coming through, with interest focusing on well-located, good quality stock. Office space within the Enterprise Zones, such as Belasis Business Park in Billingham continues to draw attention. While the current economic downturn isn't over yet, the North-east does have its positives to draw from. The on-going effects of Nissan's development, the confirmation of the Hitachi site in Newton Aycliffe and a steady stream of strong commercial announcements from the ports, have all helped to inject confidence in the commercial property sector recently. This year is expected to continue in much the same vein as the previous 12 months, although the major concern will be in the industrial sector where a distinct shortage of stock is beginning to take effect. In some instances, this lack of ready-to-go space is resulting in parties coming forward with off-market opportunities for their vacant space in order to satisfy external requirements. What is needed now is development to increase the supply of prime, modern stock to better meet on-going market demand.
- Jonathan Simpson, Sanderson Weatherall LLP