A significant trend of the commercial/industrial market over the last 12 months has been a marked increase in the demand for freehold units, obviously fuelled by the current record low interest rates which now look set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Freehold sales have been undertaken to both owner occupiers and investors, and include offices, industrial units and warehouse buildings. By way of example, some of the deals agreed by Drake Commercial in 2014 included the sale of three brand new vacant industrial units totalling circa 23,400 sq ft which were bought for investment by a Leicester based company. One unit has already been let at the asking rent of £4.95 per sq ft and another unit is about to go under offer.

Similarly, another private investor acquired the freehold of a 7,000 sq ft unit at Lamport Court which Drake Commercial then let to local marketing company Xtracs Ltd on a new lease at a rent of £4.90 per sq ft.

As a variation on a theme, Drake Commercial have also successfully advised the tenant of a 10,000 sq ft unit off Rutherford Way where they acquired the freehold interest in the property that they were leasing. So, in this situation, the tenant has effectively become an owner occupier.

Other freehold industrial units have been sold from small starter units of 1,000 sq ft up to a 20,000 sq ft unit in South March which has been acquired by BES Ltd who have tripled in size and have re-instructed Drake Commercial to dispose of their existing premises of 6,400 sq ft in Stephenson Close.

The office market in Daventry has also perked up significantly from the difficult conditions experienced only a few years ago. At Heartlands, Genoa House was sold by Drake Commercial on behalf of a private investment company to Langley Roofing who now occupy this 6,000 sq ft high specification office. The next door building, also 6,000 sq ft but with two existing tenants in situ, was then sold to a private investor, proving yet again that both the owner occupier and investment markets are alive and kicking. Office rents per sq ft are back into double figures again with the recent letting of one floor of 2,800 sq ft at Mulberry House achieving £11.25 per sq ft and new to the market is a first and second floor office suite of 3,200 sq ft at Magellan House, where the asking rent is £11 per sq ft.

For further information, please contact Tony Drake.

Business Times Editorial – Daventry Feature April 2015.