Some 88% of all estate agency branches are now open, a new survey of the UK high street following the relaxation of lockdown has revealed.
The Local Data company surveyed 20,351 units which were eligible to open under government lockdown guidelines and found that on average across all types of high street unit, 52% had opened.
The survey found that estate agency branches had the fourth highest opening rate, just behind car dealerships at 95%, fish and chip shops and Indian takeaways (93%) and pizza delivery units (91%).
But many other familiar high street outlets have been far slower to reopen including the worst hit, coffee shops and travel agencies.
Only 40% of these have re-opened, the former because people are nervous to sit in enclosed spaces and the latter because international travel has yet to re-start in earnest.
“Based on this initial research, an increase in empty shops across many high streets is likely as businesses struggle to weather the pandemic,” says Lucy Stainton from the Local Data Company.
“Despite having the opportunity to trade, many businesses have chosen not to as yet, especially in London where footfall is taking much longer to return and opening stores becomes economically non-viable.
“In the short to medium term vacancy rates will increase; taking a more optimistic stance this could also pave the way for a new wave of entrepreneurs who can take advantage of more affordable rental values and a more captive residential population in alternative locations, as the trend towards increased home working continues.”