Roche has arranged sale of 27 Yarmouth Road, Norwich .........
Norwich office building sold for conversion
The Norwich commercial property agents and consultants, Roche Chartered Surveyors, has arranged the sale of a freehold office building at 27 Yarmouth Road in Norwich on behalf of R G Carter Holdings. The prominent building in Thorpe was previously occupied by two of Carter's subsidiaries, Eyre Electrical and Sonata Security who have expanded into other Group premises.
The property is located close to the centre of Thorpe St Andrew in a popular residential area and the purchaser has obtained consent for conversion to residential under Permitted Development Rights. The approved scheme shows the two storey building of 6,756 sq ft (628 sq m) being converted into 14 flats. The property was being marketed at an asking price of £525,000. The purchaser was Yarmouth Road Project Limited, part of Estateducation Limited.
"Over the last two years, following the introduction of the expedited planning procedure under Permitted Development Rights, there has been a marked trend of disused office buildings being purchased for residential conversion in both the city centre and in suburban locations.The property in Yarmouth Road is well located for the city centre and Thorpe with the upper floor having fantastic views over the river valley so it is no surprise that it is being sold for residential conversion, despite the very strong demand from office owner-occupiers at the present time", commented James Allen of Roche Chartered Surveyors who handled the sale as joint agent for R G Carter Holdings.
Roche have let 2 Ayton Road, Wymondham, NR18 0QH ...........
Wymondham - 2 Ayton Road, NR18 0QH
Roche Chartered Surveyors, acting for Peter Colby Commercial have recently let 2 Ayton Road, Wymondham, NR18 0QH. The property is a self-contained workshop with extensive yard. The property was only marketed for a short period of time and there was a strong level of interest. The property extends to 4,500 sq ft and sits on an acre yard. The asking rent was £45,000 per annum exclusive and the lease completed at close to this level. Sam Kingston of Roche surveyors comment's " Wymondham is a popular industrial location, with good access to the A11 and within close proximity to Norwich, serving a wide catchment area".
Roche Retail have let 24 The Thoroughfare to 'Ohh Deer' .......
Ipswich - 24 The Thoroughfare
Roche Retail acting on behalf of Columbia Threadneedle have let 24 The Thoroughfare, Ipswich to 'Ohh Deer' a quirky illustrated gift company. This is their second shop they have opened in the UK and are expecting to open more in the future.
The shop comprised a total floor area of 650 sq ft arranged over the ground floor. 'Ohh Deer' took a 5 year lease at an initial rent of £20,000 pax.
Adrian Fennel of Roche Retail commented that "The shop was an important letting for The Walk and The Thoroughfare as it is located on the Buttermarket entrance to the shopping street linking through to Tavern Street, which are the two primary retail thoroughfares in Ipswich. The new tenants use will complement the existing users in The Walk and The Thoroughfare, which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment".
Hints and tips in the run-up to the revaluation ......
A quick history lesson! Since 1990, Business Rates Revaluations have taken place at regular intervals, which, up until the most recent revaluation, were carried out every 5 years. The current revaluation date is set for the 1 April 2017, but keeping to sensible tradition, there has always been a preceding valuation date, usually 2 years before, called the Antecedent Valuation Date (AVD). Therefore, the prima facie evidence for the 2017 rating list will be market rents set as at 1 April 2015, nearly a year ago. The valuation is tempered by any relevant circumstances at the actual valuation date itself of 1.4.17, such as the physical layout and use, etc.
So in advance of this revaluation, the first consequence of it is, that ratepayers are likely to see an increase in requests for information from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in the "forms of return". These forms have to be completed by law and ask questions which are relevant such as the rent payable, the date the rent was set, and why it was set, detailed lease information etc. It is worth reiterating these forms must be completed by either the ratepayer or their agent.
The second consequence for ratepayers is that forecasting your actual rates payable beyond the revaluation date of 1 April 2017 is going to be very difficult. This is for the following main reasons:
- Business Rates Payable normally increase annually in line with the RPI index.
However, with a revaluation, the rateable value is likely to change and the new level of Uniform Business Rate (UBR) is to be set. The UBR is the multiplier to be applied to the rateable value.
- Transitional adjustments, which are the phasing in of new rateable values, may or may not be put in place.
The final major consequence, is that rate payers are highly likely to see a fall in rateable values, because of the fall in rental values in many sectors and parts of the country, especially in East Anglia, due to the economic recession, since the 2010 list was established using 2008 rents. Unfortunately, rates payable cannot be expected to fall in exactly the same way as the rateable values as the Government has a duty to maintain revenue and therefore the UBR is likely to offset substantive overall falls. This situation is highly likely to be exacerbated by the use of transitional reliefs. The exception to this scenario is in London where increased rateable values and increased UBR multiplier could result in a major effect on rates payable for those businesses located in the capital.
How can this affect the actual market rents payable now and in the future? For example retail rental values in Southwold have increased fourfold and in Great Yarmouth they have halved during the life of the current list. Over the life of the next list, which is likely to be for a period of 5 years, the amount of money available to tenants to pay for outgoings will remain fairly constant so monies available for rent will decrease in Southwold and increase in Great Yarmouth, thus this may have a direct effect on rental values and this should be factored into investment decisions going forward.
Publication dates of the new rateable values is likely to be September 2016 and from the start of this year, the VOA will need to value some 1.8 million non-domestic properties having a total value in the local rating lists of more than £57 billion.
One thing is hopefully certain, the principals of an appeal against any rating assessment will remain and relate to changes or inaccuracies in actual use, size, unique physical factors affecting premises and mode of occupation.
April 1st 2015 is not just April Fool's Day ..... it is also the actual valuation date for the 2017 Business Rating ...
Business Rates Update
April 1st 2015 is not just April Fool's Day ..... it is also the actual valuation date for the 2017 Business Rating Revaluation. Although the new rating list will not come into force until 1st April 2017, the revised values will be based on what will then be historic values as of this April. This ensures all properties share a common valuation date.
The basis for the revaluation will be market rental information pertinent to April 2015. It is acknowledged not all property will have a new rent established on that day as:
The premises may be occupied by the owner, rather than rented, or
There may be vacant accommodation, or
The passing rent may have been established at either an earlier or later date by way of a new letting, rent review or lease renewal.
However, in the majority of cases where premises have a contemporary rent, the rental evidence can be distilled into a rate per square metre, taking into account any relevant issues including the surrounding built environment, the physical characteristics of the premises, the lease terms agreed and any other pertinent factors.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) will consider all the evidence that it has collated to create a tone of values specific to an area that relate to premises of the same use, with the tone being adjusted to apply to each property, to reflect its unique characteristics.
Property occupiers may be asked to provide information on their property by the VOA, and should do so as it is a statutory obligation!
So, what this means is, any occupier who agrees a rent review or lease renewal or who acquires a new lease on premises in line with market conditions on or around 1st April this year, may have a good indication of the new rateable value which will apply in 2017. There is therefore extra incentive to make sure the rent is agreed at an appropriate level - to do otherwise might be doubly foolish
Jackie Crisp, FRICS, Partner, Roche Chartered Surveyors
Norwich will no longer be the largest city that is not connected to the motorway network via a dual carriageway ......
A11 dualling - the impact on commercial property
The long-suffering business community and residents of East Anglia that use the A11 as a means of connecting with the wider world, can finally look forward to the imminent opening of the last dual carriageway section of this vital trunk road.
Norwich will no longer be the largest city that is not connected to the motorway network via a dual carriageway. Journey times for people and goods will be reduced whilst predictability of arrival and delivery times will be dramatically improved. But what impact will this have on commercial property in East Anglia?
A sudden improvement in accessibility can change distribution patterns. The overall improvement in the accessibility of Norwich will undoubtedly enhance the City's appeal as a business location. However for distribution, it will now be easier for companies to cover the whole of East Anglia from, say, Thetford or Bury St Edmunds which are geographically more central. My firm is already advising logistics clients that are reviewing their operations in this way. Therefore, a boost for warehousing in the centre of the region.
Manufacturers will find it easier to get goods to and from East Anglia. This should reduce costs, improve service and therefore competitiveness. Logically, I expect to see improved demand for industrial units in Norfolk and Suffolk along the A11.
For retailers, critical considerations are catchment areas and drive-times. Therefore the big regional centres of Cambridge and Norwich will be further boosted by being more accessible from the centre of the region, possibly to the disadvantage of smaller towns between the main cities. Better communications within the region might also make East Anglia more attractive to big retailers such as IKEA and Decathlon as more households fall within an acceptable drive-time.
As far as offices are concerned, Norwich will be significantly enhanced, enabling it to challenge Cambridge with more credibility. With prime office rents exceeding £30 per square foot, arguably Cambridge has become over-heated. Norwich is roughly half this level and therefore well placed to take up the pressure. Norwich Research Park's competitive prospects are similarly enhanced.
It will take time for the consequences of this significant improvement in our road infrastructure to work through the economy and into the commercial property market. The overall impact will undoubtedly be positive but as improved accessibility opens up new markets, there will be greater challenges for businesses in some locations although I expect the over-riding impact to be extremely positive.
by James Allen, Senior Partner, Roche Chartered Surveyors, Norwich