BE Group has for the third successive year produced a suite of Property Reports for Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, and Warrington Councils. These address the performance of all sectors of the property market during 2012. And for the first time the reports have been drawn together to also provide an overview of the Cheshire and Warrington sub-region as a whole.

Key findings for the Cheshire and Warrington area relating to 2012:

  • In contrast to national and North West region industrial property market performances (respectively at 10 and 5 years lows) Cheshire and Warrington saw increased take-up. Total of 3.2 million sqft equated to one quarter of the North West figure
  • Nine deals in excess of 100,000 sqft including Jaguar Land Rover (405,000 sqft) , William Sinclair (410,000 sqft) in Ellesmere Port; Brakes (200,000 sqft) at Omega, Warrington
  • Both prime and secondary industrial rents stabilising or seeing some growth and landlords reducing the level of tenant’s inducements
  • Number of office deals and floorpsace take-up grew by 20 percent from 2011’s figures. Take-up totalled close to 550,000 sqft
  • Out of town business park locations of Chester Business Park, Birchwood and Cheshire Business Park generated 60 percent of the year’s transactions
  • No new speculative space under construction for either industrial or office premises, and in line with the national and regional picture a chronic shortage of Grade A space. But refurbishments underway to create some Grade A office space, especially in Warrington
  • A lack of quantity of prime investment opportunities but foodstore investments in Alderley Edge, Congleton, Northwich and Warrington all attracted sub-5 percent yields
  • Brakes bespoke 200,000 sqft distribution facility at Omega, Warrington forward funded at an initial yield of 6 percent. The first time an industrial property in Warrington has achieved this since 2007
  • Retail sector somewhat subdued but still activity. Primark signed up in Warrington town centre; Debenhams committed to take 60,000 sqft at The Coliseum , Ellesmere Port and invested in multi million revamp of Browns of Chester store, and named as the anchor for Wilson Bowden’s £90 million Macclesfield town centre scheme. Marks and Spencer opened their second largest UK store at Cheshire Oaks and presented as a leading example of experimental shopping
  • UK’s largest designer outlet development Cheshire Oaks achieved the highest single day’s sales in its eighteen year history, and added another 16 stores
  • ‘Carpe diem’ was the motto for residential developers in Cheshire West and Chester, and Cheshire East as they promoted proposals in the absence of identified minimum five years housing supplies for the two authority areas. Putting planning permissions in place took priority over putting bricks in place.
  • In Warrington housing completions were up for the fourth year in a row, exceeding the target by almost 40 percent.

The findings of the reports were presented at two launches that attracted almost 300 people. The overview report and individual local authority area reports can be downloaded by clicking the following links.