Economic uncertainty continues to plague West Midlands high streets as new figures reveal demand for retail premises fell further in the last quarter.
In the three months to September demand dropped by 24 per cent and interest has now fallen for two consecutive quarters, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors UK Commercial Market Survey.
This was coupled with a continued upturn in unoccupied floor space, as 33 per cent more surveyors in the region reported rises in availability, which resulted in a continued fall in rental expectations.
Across the West Midlands, overall demand for commercial property continued to stutter, with 19 per cent more surveyors reporting falls in interest from potential occupiers.
Jonathan Mountford of Andrew Grant Estate Agents, RICS West Midlands commercial spokesperson, said: “The Olympics and the wet summer have had an effect on viewings and interest in commercial property in general across all sectors.
“The second hand office market remains particularly flat with the industrial market not far behind. The only area that has really seen a slight increase very recently is small retail units.
“We have, however, found over the last few weeks a slight rise in interest in property investments.
“It seems that those individuals who are lucky enough to have substantial sums of money invested in banks, earning one or two per cent interest have been tempted into the property investment market where returns can be as much as 10 per cent.”
Ongoing challenges surrounding the economy continue to weigh heavy on businesses and their appetite to expand, RICS said.
As a result of this negativity, surveyors’ expectations for future rents continued their slide, with 26 per cent predicting values to drop over the coming three months.
Overall rental expectations in the region have now remained negative since the autumn of 2007.