The Bournemouth office is now over a year old and it’s been a very active 12 months or so. Our experts at DHCS have assisted clients with a wide variety of instructions and projects from the valuations of group healthcare premises in the Salisbury area to monitoring of industrial development in Poole and from leasehold enfranchisement advice for a block of flats in Bournemouth to expert witness advice for an office in the New Forest.
Stunning sea view from this valuation on Christchurch Harbour
In spite of economic jitters nationally, our area appears to be relatively resilient at the present time. The housing market has slowed, particularly at the top end, but there is still significant demand for family homes with the main issue being the low volume of new sales instructions. Local developers remain keen on finding new sites and in certain strong locations, we have seen asking prices met and even exceeded.
The lack of available stock also remains the major issue within the office and industrial markets, particularly for freehold properties. We have seen an increase in new build industrial property values in particular over the past 12-24 months, mostly achieved on smaller ‘incubator’ type units. It is larger (10,000 sq. ft. plus) units that are hard to find and we are aware of a number of longstanding requirements from existing occupiers in the region who have outgrown their current premises. Whilst some are considering some of the design and build opportunities available in the region, with Brexit currently clouding the economic outlook, some occupiers are consolidating their existing sites and DHCS has been able to assist with project management support.
Commerical valuation carried out at this sought after new build warehouse in Poole
In keeping with the national picture, retail is challenging, illustrated by the number of empty units within the primary shopping areas of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. Yet there are pockets outside the more traditional centres, such as Westbourne, Southbourne and Ashley Cross that appear more sustainable, being more reliant on local traders and customers. There is strong investment demand too, particularly from private investors who are keen to take advantage of the ongoing low cost of borrowing and the returns available compared with other asset classes.
Finally, we should note the significant local authority changes that came into effect in April, with the former Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Councils now amalgamated into BCP Council and all other local authorities across Dorset now forming Dorset Council. From our experience, particularly within the property-related departments, it appears to be business as usual so far but with a new political leadership in place at BCP Council suggesting they may have another look at some of the previous administration’s flagship projects, watch this space!