The thirst for property is often talked about in regards to issues with the residential market, but the same is just as true for the commercial one. In essence, there’s too many businesses and not enough suitable properties for them.
By the rules of supply and demand, if you have the funds to invest in building new commercial property, then it’s well worth considering doing so. With businesses lining up to demand worthy properties, you could be seeing a return on your investment far sooner than most entrepreneurs can ever dream of.
So if you know this is a venture that you want to take, the only question is… where should you be looking to begin construction?
AVOID: Big Cities
You might first be drawn to big cities like London or Birmingham. They are the business hubs of the country, so it’s natural to conclude that your property is always going to be in demand.
While that may be true, the biggest problem with big cities is that they’re expensive. Everything is more expensive the more metropolitan an area is. In London, Birmingham, Manchester and all the other cosmopolitan hubs, you can expect to pay more not only for land, but for the construction costs in general. While you may one day dream of huge buildings that can dominate famous skylines, if this is your first project, then these are definitely areas that you want to avoid.
CHOOSE: University Cities
There are many large university cities in the UK. Ideally, you want a city with more than one university – such as Oxford (which has Oxford itself, and Oxford Brookes), Leicester, or Leeds. The more the better.
Where there is a student population, businesses will want to be. Not only is it easy for companies to find short-term staff, but there’s also usually a thriving culture to take advantage of. Building in a university city could do your property the world of good.
AVOID: Disaster Prone Areas
The UK weather is generally fairly mild, but one problem we do regularly face is flooding. The most commonly affected areas are in Cornwall, Wales and Cumbria, so be very careful if you want to build in these areas. You can always utilise a ground improvement technique if you have your heart set on somewhere that happens to be on a floodplain. Just be very cautious of the potential issues you might face.
On the upside, the aforementioned locations have heavy tourism industries which means business will be booming should you decide to build there.
CHOOSE: Towns Over Cities
This is particularly worth considering if you’re looking to build within an existing (or in-development) retail park. These huge parks tend not to be in the centre of cities, preferring to be 10-15 miles outside, close to a reasonably sized town. Retail property is always a good niche to try and enter, so aiming for one of these large complexes could give you a head start.