High value properties still selling in Bristol

Twelve houses worth more than £1 million have sold in the Bristol area in 2012, showing that the property market is far from stagnant in the city.

The figures are revealed by the valuation department of the Bristol office of Colliers International, which is often called in by banks and mortgage lenders to provide professional valuations on some of Bristol’s larger homes.

Abby Pugh, Head of Valuation in the Bristol office, said: “Although the press reports indicate that the average house prices across the city have fallen slightly we are finding that high value properties are still very much in demand.

“The 12 properties sold during this year have achieved an average price of £1.3 million and that is quite significant for a city area.

“Unlike other big cities Bristol has areas like Clifton and Sneyd Park close to the city centre and the prices reflect the fact that you can live close to all the amenities of a big city but in a substantial house with good gardens and a pleasant area.”

The Colliers team say that their research has shown that while there still remains a gap between the asking price and selling price for properties this is holding steady at between 90 and 95 per cent on higher value properties.

Motor trade chain takes further space in Salisbury

The Westover Motoring Group has snapped up additional space in Salisbury in a deal brokered by Colliers International.

The group, which operates from 26 locations across Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire, has taken over the former BT depot on Churchfields Industrial Estate Salisbury.

Tim Davies, Head of Colliers International Bristol Office said:  “We were bowled over by the demand for the unit and eventually entered into a contract race which the Westover Group secured to occupy the building.”

“The fact  we had several parties chasing this unit underlines the lack of supply of industrial space in Salisbury. The market in Salisbury is very tight and this fact combined with good demand levels is causing a log jam.”

One of the country’s leading property companies, M7, has recently purchased the High Post Business Park, situated just outside Salisbury City Centre.

“The estate has been fully refurbished and provides a variety of modern warehouse/industrial buildings ranging in size from 15,000 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft.  In addition there are some plots of land available for companies to design buildings for their specific operational needs.”

The park has direct access onto the A345 which leads to the A303, M3 and A34 and therefore provides fast and direct access to the National Motorway Network.

A queue of buyers for Gosport Hotel

One of the few hotels in Gosport, Hampshire has been sold by joint agents Colliers International and Savills.

The Old Lodge hotel in the attractive village of Alverstoke was closed with FRP Advisory called in as receivers. After a busy campaign with multiple offers, it has been sold by the property experts.

In the past the hotel was a busy venue with food and beverage being the key driver. The new owners will have the option to make the popular ten-bedroom property either a busy hotel or a more sedate B&B.

Colliers International hotel director Simon Wells said the venue’s prime location and recent extensions and refurbishments made it a great opportunity.

He said: “The Old Lodge is in one of Gosport’s more expensive areas and sits in a charming avenue close to the golf club and the Solent, including the well known Stokes Bay Sailing Club.

“The building itself has had a lot of money spent on it in recent years and with a little TLC and an injection of ideas, it has the potential to be a great draw within the town.

“The Old Lodge is one of the few places to stay in Gosport, so the buyers will have an immediate advantage. With an up-and-coming town like Gosport and with great links to Portsmouth, accommodation in the town is going to be sought after.”

Adam Bullas from Savills commented: “We had a queue of buyers for the hotel, so when one dropped away another stepped straight into their shoes.”

Gosport, just a short ferry ride away from Portsmouth, boasts marinas full of yachts and smart residential developments on the waterfront as well as MOD installations and Napoleonic fortifications to explore.

The property boasts a commercial kitchen, two entrances, a central reception area and a snug. There is also a bar complete with bay fronted windows and a restaurant with patio doors leading to the terrace.

The ten en-suite bedrooms can sleep up to 20 people and the comfortable and modern interior fits well with the Georgian exterior.

Old station offices just the ticket for greenest transport credentials

Office space at the   former railway station in Bristol’s exclusive Stoke Bishop district is being marketed by Colliers International.

The Old Station in Sea Mills Lane offers a unique range of office space from 665 to 1,556 square feet – complete with its own platform!

Colliers International offices specialist Richard Wright said the unique premises were just a fifteen minute drive from the city centre in one of Bristol’s most sought-after addresses.

He said: “We have been instructed by the landlord to market the ground and lower ground space. The unique selling point is the fact that the building adjoins the Temple Meads to Severn Beach railway line so has some of the greenest transport credentials on the market. It’s ideal for businesses seeking an unusual and classy address with ultra-convenient public transport connections.”

Occupying a quite exceptional location, the Old Station is  within a five minute drive of junction 18A of the M5.

It is set in a quiet cul-de-sac overlooking the River Avon and fronts on to the main rail line with hourly services into Temple Meads (20 minutes) via Clifton (four minutes).

Richard Wright said: “The property is an impressive Victorian office building which would suit a business looking for a quirky and convenient base close enough to the city centre without having to deal with the traffic.”

The specification includes a mixture of gas fired central heating and wall mounted electric heaters, carpeting throughout, and kitchen & WC facilities.

The offices provide a mixture of open plan and cellular accommodation.

For further inquiries contact  Richard Wright at Colliers International on 0117 917 2000.

Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Announced as Headline Supporter of Unfold 2012.

The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, alongside eleven local authorities and partners across the region, has become the leading supporter of Unfold 2012.

Commenting, Mark Goldstone, Head of Policy and Representation at Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, the conference organisers, said: “This is a significant show of support from the regional authorities who recognise that the event will bring investors and occupiers into the Leeds City Region to experience first-hand the very high level of opportunity and potential available to them. In supporting this event it sends out a strong message that the public and private sector are united in wishing to see growth in our region and will work collaboratively to ensure success for organisations who wish to invest or expand their operations here.”

Neil McClean, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP explained: “Our ultimate goal is to bring investment in the city region and the best way to achieve this is by working together. Unfold provides an excellent platform to promote some fantastic city region investment programmes and funding opportunities as well as showcase the potential of our cities and sectors.”

Unfold, now into its second year, is a property themed inward investment conference where delegates will be advised about investment opportunities in the Leeds City Region. High-profile speakers from Land Securities, IBM, Deloitte, MEPC, Allied London and others have been confirmed. Attendees will also hear from the region’s key decision makers including the leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leeds City Council CEO Tom Riordan and Marketing Leeds CEO Lurene Joseph.

Unfold 2012 will take place in Leeds Town Hall on Thursday 18th October.

Bristols Georgian legacy of offices

The sheer number of fine Georgian buildings in Bristol is helping to kick-start the economy by providing the ideal cost-effective base for new and growing businesses.

That is the view of chartered surveyor Christopher Tabor of property website PropertyDNA, which is matching many of the best Georgian buildings with potential office occupiers.

The many fine houses of areas such as Clifton converted to office suites are less fashionable with larger businesses now, providing an opportunity for new and growing businesses to grab a fashionable address.

Said Christopher Tabor: “While large businesses look for the convenience of computer trunking, open-plan layouts and ease of maintenance, there is still something special about the Georgian office suites.

“Their individual rooms with fine plasterwork and imposing entrances suite a number of companies and modern technology with wireless communication, allows for easier fit out than in the past.

“Typically they have been favoured by professional services like lawyers and accountants. But with so many mergers in professional services these firms are now more likely to be found in large modern office complexes on the edge of the city or in Temple Quay.

“That migration means that Bristol’s Georgian buildings are becoming more available for start-up businesses and for the small and medium-sized office occupier, who wants to impress clients with a good reception area and traditional boardroom meeting space.

“There is space at 83 Alma Road of just 241 square feet in such a building on our website www.propertyDNA.com and amazingly it comes with two parking spaces. There is larger space of 1,830 square feet at 83 Whiteladies Road and 2,000 sq feet at 7 Berkeley Square, giving smaller businesses some of the best addresses in Bristol.”

PropertyDNA.com, a national website for commercial property, is focussing on Bristol property with many agents putting their available space on the site so that businesses can go to one place on the web and find the offices, shop premises or industrial unit that they need.

Ringing the changes at popular Cotswolds watering hole

Popular Cotswold pub The Bell in Stow-on-the-Wold is on the market with go-to regional specialists Colliers International.

Hotels team director Peter Brunt said the Bell would appeal to would-be landlords who had missed their chance to buy in the popular Cotswolds tourist hotspot following the recent sales of the Grapevine and the Royalist hotels.

He said: “It’s clear from the interest we have seen that the Cotswolds’ worldwide reputation as a quintessentially English area of outstanding natural beauty is as appealing now as it was before the downturn.

“The area is certainly proving particularly resilient attracting increasing numbers of people scouring the area for new business opportunities. They won’t be disappointed by the Bell.”

The popular watering hole which is situated on the edge of the town on the Chipping Camden road attracts locals and visitors alike. There is an obvious opportunity to re-establish a letting bedroom trade to cope with buoyant tourist demand in the town.

The Bell boasts views  over glorious Cotswolds countryside and is on the market at £325,000 Freehold.

Peter Brunt said: “The Bell’s position attracts a good deal of local trade to complement the many visitors that come to Stow throughout a long tourist season and at weekends virtually all year round.

“It has been in corporate hands for a long time now – passing through the Whitbread, Laurel and now Enterprise Inns estates. A review of the portfolio suggested that the Bell would be likely to give a better return to the company if the freehold was sold to allow it to trade as an owner operated business – which is why this rare opportunity is now available.”

The Bell offers good size accommodation for resident owners with an excellent suite of three rooms, a bathroom and laundry room on the second floor.

Four rooms and a large bathroom and WC occupy the whole of the first floor – two of
the rooms are already en suite and there is potential to rearrange the space and create four fully en suite rooms promising profitable letting following refurbishment.

The car park to the front of the property is a major benefit as it is easily seen by passing motorists and has room for around ten cars. The grassed area to the front which is used by the pub is in part common land and in part public highway, but the vendors are not aware of any objections to its use as a beer garden.

Peter Brunt said: “This is a particularly handsome Cotswold stone building in what is arguably the best-known antique centre in the area, as well as being the ideal base from which to explore this beautiful part of the country.”

All enquiries should be directed to Peter Brunt of Colliers International on 0117 917 2000.

New faces, new spaces at contemporary city offices

Sustainability advisors IMS Consulting and Aisgill Business Solutions have both taken office space at Royal London Buildings in the centre of Bristol’s commercial district.

Colliers International property specialists brokered the move on behalf of Threadneedle Investments, which sees them take 1,331 square feet on the fourth floor of the building on Baldwin Street.

In a separate deal, Chris Dawson, head of the Commercial Lease Consultancy team in Bristol also re-geared digital marketing agency True Digital’s existing lease and let the remaining space on the first floor to them.

He said: “It is particularly satisfying to see cutting edge operators such as True Digital needing more space to cope with ever increasing commitments in the digital sector. Their presence is a great advertisement for Royal London Buildings.”

Paul Jenkins, Finance Director from True Digital said: “This building ideally suits our needs  for facilities and location and now that the common areas have been upgraded it presents excellently to our employees and visitors alike.”

Situated in the heart of the city centre with an abundance of restaurants, bars and shops on the doorstep, Royal London Buildings is within walking distance of Broadmead, The Mall Galleries and Cabot Circus shopping centres and Temple Meads railway station.

Richard Wright from Colliers International’s Broad Quay-based offices team said that the major refurbishment of the common areas had helped encourage new occupiers.

He said: “The strikingly contemporary space offers high quality facilities with plenty of natural light, exposed brickwork and laminate floors. The upper floors will also be refurbished later in the year. Just over 11,000 sq ft of space is still available in a range of sizes from 485 sq ft upwards.”

He added the move had great significance for IMS Consulting, the building and the commercial property sector as a whole as it gets to grips with sustainability issues. This firm aims to highlight costs savings of a more sustainable approach to landlords in the West.

Graham Sprigg from IMS Consulting said: “Royal London Buildings has facilities that encourage sustainable working practices including ample indoor bicycle storage – encouraging cycling to work – and new shower facilities. It also benefits from easy public transport links nearby.”

“As members of the UK Green Building Council and advisors to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, IMS Consulting is committed to spearheading sustainable improvements in the built environment. As such, we are keen to play our part in making Royal London Buildings even more sustainable.

“Initiatives that we will be implementing will include waste reduction, segregation and recycling, energy saving and promote green energy supply to encourage tenants to think about their working environment.”

Shortage of new build means quality commercial property at a premium

Pent up demand for good quality commercial premises in the Yeovil, Bournemouth and Poole area must eventually trigger more speculative development, according to Tim Davies, head of office at Colliers International’s Bristol office.

Tim’s comments follow  Euro Car Parks decision to snap up an 11,157 sq ft industrial/warehouse unit with good yard space on the Lynx Trading estate in Yeovil on a new ten year lease.

Other businesses are actively searching for property in the area but are running up against a chronic shortage of good quality accommodation.

He said: “We were delighted to see Euro Car Parks’  make a further commitment to the area but we have other businesses on the trail of suitable industrial properties in the wider Yeovil, Poole and Bournemouth area who simply can’t get a foot in at the moment.

“The trouble is nobody is building any new property  so businesses are snapping up good quality secondhand accommodation.

“This could result in some landlords deciding to refurbish older stock but this is  only a stopgap measure. The shortage of new build is creating a logjam which must ultimately trigger some speculative development.

“Demand is there from indigenous occupiers but there are new people looking to move in to the area. If there aren’t any new facilities the danger is they will go elsewhere and this could hinder economic recovery in the region.”

The 11,157 sq ft unit includes warehouse, offices and yard accommodation on the popular trading estate just two miles from Yeovil town centre.