Recently, The Financial Times published an article highlighting that up to 20 per cent of British office buildings will become un-lettable when new energy efficiency measures come into effect in April 2018.
Mark Coxon, director and head of Commercial Agency commented: "Owners of offices that currently fall into the F and G energy efficiency categories – the two lowest that a property can be awarded – should consider how they can improve their rating and act as soon as possible.
James Logan, Associate Director at Caxtons Chartered Surveyors, was recently asked to provide expert opinion on the BBC One television programme Homes Under the Hammer.
James, who works out of Caxtons' Canterbury office, specialises in commercial property and was pleased when this popular daytime programme, known primarily for featuring residential properties sold at auction, asked for his input.
Located over four floors, this prime property was sold at auction in March 2013 for £114,000. Having applied for and been granted change of use the new owner set about extensive refurbishment, dividing the property into a retail unit on the ground floor with a staff area in the basement, creating a new access to the two floors above, which were then converted into a two-bedroom maisonette. The entire refurbishment cost in the region of £43,000 making a total investment for the purchaser of £157,000.
Driven by a surge in consumer confidence, the UK economy is gathering momentum, which in turn has led to growing interest in property investment.
Currently, savings accounts only pay 1-2% whereas property can offer more attractive returns ranging from about 5 to 10% plus.
Representing the lowest risk but still producing initial yields of 4.5 to 6%, are residential properties, prime offices, retail units and retail warehouses.
Higher risk properties can offer more than 9 %, for example, retail units in secondary locations, older offices and industrial properties.
Property offers the potential for diversification, both in terms of type and location, thereby reducing risk. A typical portfolio may include both residential and commercial property and within the commercial element, a balance of retail, industrial and office property.
Another significant attraction is the prospect of exploiting asset management opportunities. For example, converting disused parts of shops to residential use, thereby enhancing income; renegotiating leases; obtaining planning permission for change of use or by extending or converting the property.