Commercial Outlook Q1 2024

Although challenges remain, key economic indicators give cause for optimism. GDP is trending upward, and inflation is edging closer to the Bank of England’s target. Member sentiment varies by sector, but there is notable positivity in the Land and Yards and Industrial sectors. Supply and demand imbalances remain, most notably in the Pubs and Restaurants sector, which continues to be impacted by changing trends.

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This report is based on a survey of Propertymark commercial agents conducted during the first quarter of 2024. It is further addended with an analysis conducted by Propertymark of key statistics relevant to the commercial property market.

Economic outlook

The Bank of England base rate remains unchanged at 5.25% in March 2024, but remains considerably higher than in earlier periods. Depending on the measure selected, inflation remained static or continued to trend downward in March 2024. Specifically, in the 12 months to March 2024, inflation was 3.8% as measured by CPIH, 3.2% as measured by CPI and 4.3% as measured by RPI. 

Class Use E sector

In England, Class E incorporates a broad range of Commercial, Business and Service uses.1 These include everything from the display and sale of goods (Class E(a)) to the provision of medical or health services (Class E(e)). 

We asked our members what they expected to happen to supply and demand levels within the sector over the next 12 months. Half (50%) forecast an increase in supply whereas around one-third (31%) forecast a corresponding increase in demand.

Office sector

We also asked our members what they expected to happen to supply and demand levels within the office sector over the next 12 months. 40% predicted an increase in supply, whilst the majority (80%) predicted that demand would decrease or remain the same.

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