Major retailer BHS has been forced into a CVA as it battles to get affordable rents at its stores across the country.
The high street group, which has 14 of its 164 stores in the region, needs its creditors to agree to its plans to enter company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposals for BHS Ltd and BHS Properties Ltd.
It has threatened landlords of 40 stores – including six in Yorkshire – they will close unless they agree to receive 25% of the rent due in the next 10 months and negotiate rent reductions.


Commercial property values past peak
By James Buckley - Monday, February 29, 2016 10:13


Many of you will have seen in the media the highly publicised floatation of Hunters Property Group Ltd, due to take place in early July, with a view to expanding their number of outlets from 150 currently in operation to a target of 500.  The publicity has been heightened by the fact that Kevin Hollinrake, the main driving force behind the company, has recently been elected as MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey.  Also, the involvement of Nigel Wray, the Chairman of Saracens Rugby Club, who has a 16% share in the company and is well known for his launch of the franchise pizza business


The UK investment market has grown yet stronger in recent months, with the uncertainty of the election fading and the market’s safe haven status back to the fore amid renewed fears over eurozone stability and stock market volatility, notably in China, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s monthly briefing on the UK investment market.

  • Ladbrokes and Coral open talks on a merger (a Ladbrokes £363m takeover move blocked in 1998 by then Sec for Trade & Industry Peter Mandleson)
  • Ladbrokes to close 60 stores this add to the 89 closures last year after a drop in operating profit of 9.3%
  • William Hill closed 109 stores last year
  • William Hill are the largest UK Bookmaker - 57% of group revenue comes through retail - they have 2,360 of the total 9,000 stores in the UK employing 12,500 people.

Tesco's staggering £6.4bn loss........Sainsburys first full-year loss in almost a decade (£72m).........Asda's 4% sales dip in Q1 2015.....all suggest the boom years for UK food store operators is well and truly over.

Bucking this trend however are the discounters, in the shape of Aldi and Lidl, and also the high-end food retailers, M&S Simply Foods and Waitrose.


How does the UK greetings card market shape up and breakdown;

  • Card shops have more than 45% of the market
  • Card Factory & Clintons have 32% market share
  • Niche operator Paperchase is expanding - used by 8% of consumers that purchased greeting cards in 2014
  • 48% of consumers used Card Factory whilst 29% shopped at Clintons
  • 97% of people buying cards do so by personally browsing shelves

(Source: Estates Gazette / Mintel)


We have now signed up with Rightmove to maximise the exposure of our Agency properties.  It is a big step in our drive to expand our Agency offering and we have, within the last month trebled the amount of properties we have available and are constantly looking for new opportunities.  The facilities offered by Rightmove has already generated a phenomenal response and fantastic uplift in a number of enquiries and viewings to our properties and we are always looking for further opportunities in this direction.  The Rightmove website enables us to track the amount of interest, a

This figure is down from 0% in March and economists leading up to today's figures predicted that it may be the case, with low oil prices and ongoing supermarket price wars leading to the deflation. The ONS said: "The main downward push on inflation came from air and sea fares. Prices for both rose on the month, but by far less than a year ago, with the timing of Easter a likely factor." It is the first time the rate of inflation has slipped below zero since 1960. “Deflation has hit the UK, but looks unlikely to stay for long," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

Rising capital values and strong competition are driving investors to look beyond the major UK cities for quality office stock and potential value, reports JLL in a wide-ranging report focused on which locations will offer the biggest opportunity over the next five years. The report analyses the economic and office market performance of 37 smaller towns and cities giving an insight in to which locations will offer the biggest opportunities.


UK prime yields fell below 5% for the first time since late 2007 in a strong first quarter of 2015 for real estate, reports Cushman & Wakefield.


The government’s two-year deferment of the business rates revaluation will cost businesses in the north of England and the Midlands £2.3bn, according to Bilfinger GVA.
A comprehensive review by Bilfinger GVA calculates what the 2015 revaluation would have looked like if it had taken place when it was originally due today, on 1 April 2015, and compares this to what businesses will instead have to pay over the course of the deferment.


The UK economy performed impressively in 2014, with the latest official estimate of 0.5% growth in Q4 taking annualised growth to 2.6%, the best performing of the G7 Nations. While the outlook for 2015 brings greater uncertainty, both economically and politically, the consensus points to continuing robust growth over the coming year.

Productivity improving as real wages rise


• Investment volume of £20.5bn in Q4 2014 was a record for a single quarter
• Total volume for 2014 was £59.6bn, falling narrowly short of the 2006 high
• Investment in the regions reached £21.1bn in 2014, up 41% on 2013
• The All Property transaction yield stands at 6.11%, its lowest since Q2 2008
• All Property returns reach 19.3% in 2014, their highest since 2006


The Chancellor George Osborne MP announced his Autumn Statement to Parliament today. Our initial response focused on stamp duty, small business rates and infrastructure.


Stamp duty

Finally we see long overdue reform to the stamp duty tax system – described by the Chancellor as the most damaging tax of all. Time and time again RICS has called for these changes to stamp duty structure, from which 98% of house buyers will now benefit.


The UK investment market is set for its strongest year since 2006 propelled by another strong quarter of trading in Q3 2014.  Investment totalled £15.2b across 750 transactions, a jump of 20% year on year.  Assuming the average Q3 to Q4 uplift is consistent with previous 4 years results.  Investment is projected to top £62b in 2014, the highest annual total since 2006.


Pub company shares have dropped after MPs voted to end stiff rules that force their pub tenants to pay higher prices than non-tenants for their drinks.
Shares in the two biggest pub chain companies, Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns, both fell steadily through the day to close down 17%.
The amendment would affect the 20,800 of Britain's 48,000 pubs that are subject to beer "ties".
Non-tied pubs often pay considerably lower prices for their beverages.


The supermarket/convenience store situation in the UK is evolving at a fast pace as has been outlined throughout the course of 2014 in the media:  this is outlined by recent sales figures which show the following on turnover figures:

Aldi:  plus 26%
Lidl:  plus 17%
Waitrose:  plus 5.6%
Sainsbury’s:  minus 2.5%
Morrisons:  minus 3.3%
Tesco:  minus 3.7%


All UK commercial property experienced a weaker performance in August 2014, according to the latest CBRE Monthly Index.

Total returns for All Property were 1.4%, mainly driven by the capital value growth of 0.9% over the month. So far this year, capital values increased by 8.1%, resulting in total return of 12.5% over the year to date.

However, rents increased by 0.1% over the month and 1.3% over the last eight months.
August 2014: CBRE UK Monthly Index Snapshot:


This is a preliminary announcement regarding the proposed developmentby Gerald Smith Limited - a local builder with a renowned reputation for quality and attention to details.

The development will comprise 5 two bedroomed apartments and 1 one bedroom apartment, all of which have one car parking space.


The final unit at Copley Enterprise Park, Tadcaster has now been let. The park along with the rest of Tadcaster Industrial Estate are both now fully occupied. Industrial units in and around the Tadcaster area are now a scarce resource, Sherburn in Elmet still has some availability although significant lettings there over the past 12 months has seen their vacant space reduce dramatically.


Malcolm Stuart Property Consultants LLP recently completed on the sale of Taylor Maxwell House on Glebe Terrace, Headingley to a private investor for residential conversion. The property achieved a sale price of £560,000 for approximately 4,297 sq.ft of space.


Last week the government announced the ‘biggest package of business rate support in over 20 years’, as part of the coalition government’s economic plan.


Malcolm Stuart Property Consultants LLP recently advised on the freehold acquisition of the Golden Lion, Market Place, Leyburn. The property is a substantial double fronted Public House together with 14 letting bedrooms plus staff quarters. The freehold interest was purchased for £350,000 from the Receivers and the property is due to re-open very soon.


Leeds city centre office take-up in 2013 will easily outperform 2012 and for the first time in six years will be on a par with pre-recessionary levels, reports BNP Paribas Real Estate.
BNP PRE reports 2013 Leeds out of town take-up is expected to reach 440,000 sq ft, also well ahead of last year’s level.


There was, prior to the Autumn statement, a strong lobby to freeze Business Rates in the continuing economic gloom in the retail sector.  However, this did not happen, although there was some respite for rate payers in that the Rate in the Pound for next year, 2014/2015 has been capped at a 2% increase, rather than the traditional RPI which would have increased rates by 3.2%.  In addition, Small Business Rate Relief, which helps a lot of small businesses, has been extended for a further year on the current basis. 


Malcolm Stuart Property Consultants LLP has seen a sharp upturn in demand for well let Commercial Property! Multiple acquisitions for both existing clients and new referrals looking to see some return on their capital employed. With the banks still unmoved on savings rates Commercial Property is once again proving popular following the turbuent times of the recent past.


New Nottinghamshire scheme attracts interest - Insider News Midlands -

The developer behind a proposed new 50-acre business park in Nottinghamshire has told Insider it has already received an enquiry for a one million sq ft unit while other parties have explored the possibility of 500,000 sq ft deals.


Malcolm Stuart Property Consultants LLP completed 3 lettings on retail units in May;

Acting on behalf of Groveshall Estates Ltd we have acheived a new letting on 22 Market Place, Otley on a new 10 year lease at an initial rent of £14,000 per annum rising to £15,000 per annum.

In conjunction with Vickers Carnley we have recently let 13 The Springs, Wakefield on a new 10 year lease to CeX Franchising Ltd at an initial rent of £13,000 per annum rising to £15,000 per annum.


The BoE has said that lending to businesses in the UK has fallen by a further £4.8bn in the three months to February. That represents a fall of 4.4% in loans to companies and small firms from the same period a year earlier. The Bank also said that the mortgage market was "broadly unchanged". The BoE's figures show that loans to construction firms and house builders were particularly weak. Lending to the real estate sector fell by 5.3% in December 2012 from a year earlier, the sharpest drop for more than three years.


According to the Daily Telegraph on 9th April 2013, the amount paid in Business Rates on empty properties exceeded £1.1 billion last year and new research has found that Local Authorities collected 19% more tax than in 2011 / 2012 than they did just two year’s earlier, according to data from The Taxpayers Alliance.  This figure comes just a week after Business Rates for 2013 / 2014 rose by 2.6%.  The Telegraph notes that this means that the tax is now equal to almost half the annual rent of a property in most cases, as the Rate in the Pound is 47.0 pence and


We are shortly to be instructed on a verging 50 acre B1/B2 and B8 site immediately adjoining the A1 and a major junction.  This will be one of the most accessible industrial / warehouse sites in the Country, with major power supply readily available and excellent prominence to the A1(M) on the sites adjoining the A1. Accordingly, if you have requirements for major space users, please contact James Stuart at this office as a full release of details is expected within the next 4-6 weeks.


Malcolm Stuart Property Consultants LLP purchased the freehold investment on behalf of Replay Associates at a transactions price of £950,000, reflecting a net initial yield of 6.3%. Barclays Currently pay £63,250 per annum with a lease renewal outstanding on which MSPC are also acting. Senior Partner, Malcolm Stuart gave his thoughts on the acquisition:- “Ilkley by and large has remained extremely strong in terms of rental levels and is one of a very select number of Yorkshire locations that has seen rental increases.


Woodhead Investment and Development Services Ltd have been involved in a number of deals in the centre of Wakefield towards the end of the year. Chairman Melvyn Woodhead states that he is confident in the city and its continued prosperity with the recently developed and highly regarded Trinity Walk Development enhancing its retail prominence and national perception.

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