Demand for courtyard offices for sale across the West Midlands, combined with a lack of available schemes, is pushing up prices. According to KWB, the time is right for commercial property developers to start building again.
Malcolm Jones, a senior member of the office agency team at KWB, says that demand for courtyard offices for sale far outstrips availability, with prices having increased by some 20% in the past two years across a range of office developments.
“Our recent and pending sales at courtyard office developments in Redditch, Bromsgrove, Solihull, Stratford-upon-Avon, Hockley Heath and Droitwich have all been hotly contested, primarily by business owners wanting to acquire their own premises.
“We could have sold some of these second hand units three or four times over, but stock is limited, as development of these small attractive business schemes generally stopped after 2007.
“With new build units capable of commanding in excess of £200 per sq ft for freehold sales, there is a real opportunity for landowners and developers to look at building courtyard office schemes once again.”
Having acted as commercial property agent for well in excess of 20 courtyard office schemes at KWB, Malcolm Jones says it is properties between 1,500 sq ft and 3,500 sq ft that are most highly sought after.
He says: “Most business owners are looking to take advantage of acquiring their building through an individual or directors’ pension fund, via a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) scheme or a Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS). Taking into account the borrowing limits, offices of up to 3,500 sq ft are still generally affordable, especially as the banks are willing to lend and interest rates remain at an historic low.
“While freeholds are most desirable, courtyard office leases are also popular, as these developments are generally regarded as a very good business location. Offices are often self-contained with their own front door, and have car parking and easy access, all within a managed, landscaped environment.
“It’s a very good time for experienced developers to look at these again, and for landowners to consider a courtyard office development. We would be very happy to lend our considerable experience to assist.”