As the towns most active agent on Northampton’s High Street, Chown Commercial is ideally placed to assess the impact of supply and demand in the town: in effect providing a health check on the property market. Three years ago it was headline news that we had high vacancy ratios around the town. Now the reverse is the case. Chown Commercial have been involved in over 20 property transactions on Abington Street during this time and the number of boards has reduced dramatically.
Lettings on the High Street fall broadly into two categories: long-term and short-term. Both count towards the take-up figures but as we receive a steadily increasing number of enquiries it will be the short term lettings that we look to for supply, either as they become available again or as landlords look to improve the quality and longevity of their lettings. The impact of this will inevitably put pressure on rents which in turn will increase capital values. "This is a gradual process and nobody expects immediate changes overnight says Stephen "but the net result will be a gradual change in the face of the High Street as a result of the gradually improving economy”.
The same effect is being seen in the office market around the outskirts of the town. As a result of a change in planning policy a significant number of properties have converted from office to residential and, at the same time demand in the economy has increased, albeit slowly. Over the last six months this has put pressure on the remaining available buildings at a time when few properties are coming to the market. "As rents and prices rise, supply and demand would suggest that those owners who have been unwilling to sell at prices below the 2008 peak may be able to start to consider their position anew” says Stephen.
Chown commercial are currently retained by both office and retail clients actively seeking new premises. Of particular interest are those properties where short-term temporary lettings were agreed over the last two or three years and where improved rents or prices may now be achievable.