Why Oxfordshire commercial real estate is hot property

Oxfordshires commercial property market is back and its hot, according to Jon Silversides,

Oxfordshires commercial property market is back and its hot, according to Jon Silversides, partner in Carter Jonas Oxford office. - Credit: Archant

Oxfordshire’s commercial property market is back and it’s hot, according to Jon Silversides, partner in Carter Jonas’ Oxford office.

2014 was a record year for commercial property investment both within Oxfordshire but also the UK as a whole, with a seemingly unabated level of demand from investors for stock.

With the London market widely regarded as being overheated, attention has turned to regional locations and Oxford in particular continues to be seen as a safe haven. With the increased appetite for stock in the regions coinciding with an upturn in the market, vendors have been taking the opportunity to sell at extremely strong values with a significant release of stock following so many years in the doldrums.

2014 saw trophy assets such as The Randolf Hotel change hands at £33 million and there has been a raft of smaller assets including industrial estates Fenchurch Court, Oxford Business Centre and Thorney Leys Trade Park in Oxford and Witney respectively. Also at the end of 2014, Carter Jonas sold off-market for a private investor, 265-279 Iffley Road for £7 million to Wrenbridge Land, representing a net initial yield of 5.34%.

One of the challenges that remains for private investors entering the market is that, on the whole, Oxford stock is swept up by institutional style buyers able to afford the larger price tags.

Therefore the market towns and suburbs of Oxford have thrown up opportunities. Carter Jonas has sold a number of smaller investments in 2014 including 214 Banbury Road and 1 Weston Business Park for £670,000 and £640,000 respectively and is currently appraising a number of sub £1 million opportunities with a view to bringing them to the market.

But will 2015 offer the same, being an election year and a medium-term interest rate rise on the cards? Carter Jonas’ view is yes, stock depending. Whilst we may well see a blip around May, the company anticipates a continued level of demand in core stock, and the heat still on.