Should Medway’s industrial and retail properties be included in an investor’s portfolio?

Five huge new retail stores and a raised car park at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre were approved by councillors this month. It seems that while Kent and Medway has not been totally untouched by the economic uncertainty of Brexit, business activity and demand for retail property is still enjoying growth.

As a relatively affordable area to live or own a business, Medway has many benefits that might make potential investors consider including business properties in their portfolios. It’s gateway position to both London and Europe means that – whatever the outcome of Brexit – it is an increasingly favourable location to establish a business.

Medway has some of the most exciting economic growth prospects in the South East, particularly in retail. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Medway Council’s Rochester Riverside regeneration plans will include 1,300 new homes but also plenty of office space and a number of retail units. Both the development and resultant infrastructure of projects like this will lead to increased employment and an increased need for affordable housing supply over the coming decade.

Proposals for a new technology focused park at Rochester Airport have also been tabled, which would provide over 47,000m² of engineering and manufacturing business space. This continuation of the area’s long history of engineering and technology, would – for me – be a welcome additional to the excellent innovation that Medway is thriving on. And industrial rents are on the rise. According to  latest edition of the Kent Property Market Report, the average prime industrial and distribution space in Kent had the fastest pace of rental growth, rising by 9.4% over the last 12 months.

Graph

Other plans I’ve heard of include a KFC and Aldi at Horsted Retail Park after the closure of Toys R Us. Plus a new 6,875m² retail park on Medway City Estate.

Being based at the Innovation Centre Medway, we understand the importance of good quality commercial space for encouraging the economy and therefore improving employment which makes Medway property much more rentable.

Interestingly, some of the main objections to the Hempstead Valley grounds extension plan were from Chatham’s Pentagon Shopping Centre and the Chatham Town Centre Forum. They said the plans would be contrary to the council’s development plan to promote town centres. But the town centres appear to be holding their own, with the Kent Property Market Guide stating that “towns are developing their own identities attracting local custom and leisure visitors”.

Of course there is plenty of room for movement in all these positions. The impending Brexit agreements could considerably impact Medway’s growth, but it’s hard to imagine a scale that create a downward trend. We are fortunate to be in an incredible desirable location. With access to Europe on our doorstep and a rising population, whether it’s residential or business, the Medway property market could play a strong role in the success of any property investors portfolio.

If you wish to discuss this further, I’m always happy to hear from you, give me a call on 07944 726676 or email me at hasan@home-share.co.uk.

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