Business Confidence stokes Potteries Commercial Property Demand

Posted on 21 February, 2014 by Kirsten Kennedy

Earlier this week, it was reported that Realis Estates had issued a statement reiterating their commitment to Stoke-on-Trent’s City Sentral shopping centre development in response to fears over its future.

The development of the city centre retail scheme, along with that of a new central business district and bus station, is designed to transform the area and attract inward investment.

But, according to Richard Mountsey, of locally based Mountsey Chartered Surveyors, growing business confidence is already fuelling demand in the city’s commercial property market with inquiries increasing steadily over the past few months.


Industrial property remains the largest area of growth for his firm, but demand for office space is also growing – both for modern business park premises and older city centre stock that has been refurbished.

Mr Mountsey believes that the uptick in the local property market is a direct result of local business expansions and firms choosing to relocate to the Potteries.

“There is absolutely no question that the commercial property sector has picked up and we are getting a lot more calls from both local companies and others from outside the area looking to relocate in North Staffordshire,” he told The Sentinel.

“We are seeing a lot more activity in the supply chain because, for example, as pottery firms pick up more orders in the hotel trade there is a positive knock-on effect all the way down through the chain of firms servicing that growth, and we are seeing more engineering firms expanding too.”

Fortunately for those looking to sell older buildings, which are not usually the first choice for office space, interest from developers is also growing. This means that the price of land is also beginning to grow, with many firms interested in building from the ground up or even redeveloping sites for retail, office and leisure premises.

All in all, the commercial property picture for Stoke and North Staffordshire is looking considerably rosier than it did this time last year, when occupancy rates remained relatively stagnant and austerity was the word of the day with local firms. Mr Mountsey confirms that there has been a leap in completed deals in the past few months, meaning that property agents also stand to benefit from increasing confidence in the economy.

He concludes; “There is definitely more appetite to commit to the future and that normally involves a property element so we are seeing companies having the confidence to invest in new buildings and turn that initial interest into a definite decision.”

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