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South West Review - Exeter

An Essential Guide to the South West Property Market

This year, JLL took a slightly different approach to its Review, by providing an essential guide to the South West Property Market – where to live, where to work, where to buy and our predictions for the future.

Over 150 JLL clients and business contacts were in attendance to listen to not only the JLL speakers (Charles Kislingbury, Sarah Partridge and Tim Western), but also this year's guest speaker Dr Ian Pearson, a futurologist, give his predictions for the future.

Sarah Partridge, senior surveyor, commented "The story is now about extremes. The prime shopping areas are performing well, while significant vacancies persist in secondary and tertiary locations.

We are however seeing some changes occurring to address the imbalance with town centres being re-worked to reduce over-capacity and new uses being introduced to create 24/7 sustainable destinations. Significant leisure schemes are in the pipeline to complement the prime areas to satisfy the demands of the modern consumer."

Tim Western, director at JLL, said "The investment market in the South West had a crazy year in 2015.

However the office market in the West country had a lukewarm year, with a continued shortage of Grade A stock and therefore Grade B deals accounting for the majority of activity.

Key factors include a lack of second-hand options, continued occupier caution and shyness towards pre-lets, as well as high build costs continuing to be hurdles in moving the office market forward."

Charles Kislingbury, Lead Director, Exeter, commented "…For retailers it would appear bigger is better in terms of distribution depots. The recent deal by Lidl which purchased Sainsbury's 40-acre site in Exeter for a 530,000 sq ft regional distribution centre is a prime example of this trend."