Expert View: Matthew Bowen from Aitchison Raffety on the consequences of a supply shortage

Matthew Bowen

Matthew Bowen - Credit: Archant

Statistics for both residential and commercial property show a continued trend of fewer properties currently being marketed.

This can create a number of issues but the main one is the time it takes to find the right property. For buying a house or flat this may require delaying marketing or considering a sale and then moving into rented accommodation until the ideal property comes up.

For commercial property though this is not really a viable option. For retail and industrial occupiers this doesn’t work at all and for offices there are few short term options available and the costs can be high.

Our advice is to commence a search as soon as possible and to register with agents to make sure they know what you are looking for and when. At Aitchison Raffety we deal with a high proportion of commercial transactions in St Albans, Harpenden and the surrounds, so we know the majority of lease end dates or break clauses and this means we can start discussions with parties often in excess of 12 months before they occur.

Companies looking six months in advance of a move are finding this is becoming too short, with sometimes disastrous results. We are happy to talk to companies and it can result in not only a successful result for all parties but a smoother, better planned out transaction.

A good example of forward planning is occurring on the exciting proposed Maltings development, adding a possible 29,000 sq ft of much needed offices in St Albans. Whilst planning has only just been submitted, with a potential building work completion date of 2019, already there is interest. If planning is granted we would expect to be talking with potential tenants over 12 months before they could move in.

It’s a changing market for both residential and commercial property and all parties involved need to adapt to these changes as soon as possible.

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Matthew Bowen, Aitchison Raffety 01727 843232