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Smile! The high street is perking up

The High street is undergoing a 'facelift' according to Winkworth, with strong demand for space from the cosmetic and private healthcare sectors.

The Negotiator

The claim is made in Winkworth’s latest episode of The Property Exchange podcast, stating that commercial units on high streets are going to sealed bids to secure a prime spot, as operators respond to a surge in post-pandemic interest in cosmetic procedures.

Adam Stackhouse, Winkworth’s head of commercial investments and development, told the podcast, “There’s been a huge increase in serious interest from specialist medical services including dentistry and cosmetic treatments. And a lot of these businesses are moving out of large, out of town private health centres to offer a more personal and bespoke service.

“We had a medical company based in the north come to the Notting Hill area, with an order book of short of half a million pounds and they took the premises on a sealed bid in W10 for the purposes of cosmetic treatments. They exchanged on the property within 10 days, which is unheard of in the commercial sector.

“As fashion retailers move away from the high street, we’ve also recently had deals from clothing and accessory rental businesses and high-end fashion hires. They need to be local to the community so customers can pick up the trousers or handbag they want to use that evening and drop it off the next day.

“The other type of business is targeting immediate food deliveries, for people spending time in the kitchen and cooking – and finding they have run out of ingredients. Those companies are looking for units in prime locations for immediate delivery to a densely populated area of central London.”

For investors, these commercial spaces could be an attractive proposition. Adam Stackhouse added, “A lot of these business have rock solid covenants. They are going to pay their rent on time. They have full order books.”

Dominic Agace

Dominic Agace, Winkworth

Dominic Agace, chief executive of Winkworth, said, “We’re in a yield hungry world and I think investors like the appeal of a yield on commercial mixed use premises. Something smaller scale that can be put in a SIPP as a personal private investment.”

Anthony Emmerson, director of Trinity Financial, which specialises in financing homeowner mortgages, buy-to-let and development lending, told the podcast : “When I speak to the commercial lenders, what businesses are higher on their wish list? It’s the medical, dental, pharmacy kinds of businesses because they are time tested, they always succeed, and the lenders are happy to lend quite high loan to values.”

Listen to the podcast here.

March 23, 2022

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