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News Release


South West to lead the way out of recession

Jones Lang LaSalle reports on the rise in housing demand and online retail

Tuesday 6 February 2013  - The South West has one of the highest growth rate forecasts outside London and the South East, according to leading property advisors Jones Lang LaSalle.
Research revealed at this month’s South West Market Review, entitled The Winning Edge, predicts a growth rate of 13 per cent in 2013 – equal to the West Midlands, and in the top four regions outside the capital.

Predictions also show that growth in housing demand in Devon and the South West will outperform the UK average, with an expected household formation rate of 30 per cent in Devon and the South West while the UK average stands at 26.5 per cent.

The growth in demand will be particularly evident in the region’s cathedral cities Exeter, Truro and Plymouth, where there is stronger population and employment growth.
Charles Kislingbury, head of Exeter office, commented: “Cities in the region are increasingly popular with downsizers and people looking to relocate due to the quality of life.
“The geographical location, strength of the Exeter University, and the growing scientific and IT and communications sectors make the region highly desirable. With improving transport links through high speed train connections and Exeter Airport the South West is more accessible than ever before.”
“We have already witnessed a boost in confidence across the residential land market with the return of competitive bidding for ‘oven-ready’ consented sites and offers in excess of the asking price and this coming year will undoubtedly see more of the same and an influx of development to meet the growing demand.”
And as doom and gloom dominates the retail sector with high profile casualties in HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster, experts at Jones Lang LaSalle are predicting that online retail will offer huge opportunities in the property sector, particularly in the South West.
Tim Western, director Industrial & Logistics agency, Exeter, said: “Sheds are the new shops. Retailers are finally coming to terms with the rapid rise in smartphones and tablets. 64% of smartphone users in the UK shop online via their mobile. They are embracing multi-channel retailing - that’s bricks, clicks and flicks.
“The changing retail landscape is impacting directly on the distribution market too. The ‘value’ retailers are taking space to serve their expanding store network with The Range and Home Bargains following in the footsteps of food retailers like Co-op, Morrisons , Asda and Sainsbury’s in taking large distribution centres across the South West.”
There are 37 million shoppers online in the UK, the fastest growing online market in Europe. The product has to get from the retailer to the customer. In the case of the food retailers this is often picked direct from stores and delivered to homes. However online retailers like Amazon use the parcel network and companies like Geopost and Hermes Parcelnet, who have active requirements right across the South West as a direct result.

Tim Western added:

“And it won’t stop here... the next big thing in retail distribution will be so-called ‘dark sheds’ – virtual stores designed entirely to serve online orders, rather than picking stock from supermarket stores. We have already seen these emerging around London.”