Review of 2021 Commercial Property Market in Hertfordshire 23 Dec 2021
It’s an entrepreneurial world
It is actually hard to believe that we are almost at the end of 2021 and about to start another year amid the COVID pandemic so here we give our review of the 2021 Commercial Property Market in Watford, Rickmansworth and surrounding Hertfordshire towns and villages.
When we started 2021 we genuinely worried about the effect that the lockdown had taken on the commercial property space in our main areas of business, Watford, Rickmansworth, Kings Langley, Croxley Green and all of the surrounding towns and villages. What happened in the first few months was a complete surprise and a really good one, so we wanted to write our review of the main points of 2021.
If you walked down any high street or parade of shops at the start of the year, you could clearly see that there were many units empty and a lot of retail businesses gone from the local area or gone for good. However, from thinking that would mean business levels dropping, our applicant enquiry levels for local commercial property rose steadily.
By the middle of the year, we had started to see the town centre being transformed, there were some really unique entrepreneurial businesses coming to town, quite a few of those were borne out of the COVID crisis. It was actually really inspiring for us to be able to assist in finding new commercial premises, either for rent or for purchase, and be able to play a small part in the post-covid business world.
You can read our ‘Regeneration of Watford’ post here.
Considering that we have seen so many restaurants closing or changing hands locally since the pandemic started, it was a huge relief for many of our commercial tenants when Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a temporary 50% cut in their business rates, up to a maximum of £110,000 and, he also scrapped 2022’s planned annual increase in rates for all firms for the second year in a row. In his Autumn Budget speech, Mr Sunak said that in the 2022-23 tax year, pubs, music venues, cinemas, restaurants, hotels, theatres and gyms would be able to claim a discount on their bills of 50%, up to a maximum of £110,000, concluding that would be a tax cut worth almost £1.7bn. In conjunction with the existing Small Business Rates Relief, the chancellor said the move meant more than 90% of all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses would see a discount of at least 50%.
Code of Practice brings some more relief
The Autumn Budget also brought some financial relief for businesses struggling due to Coronavirus, with the introduction of the Code of Practice for Commercial Rents, offering breathing space for those in debt as there can be no commercial evictions until the 25th March 2022. At that time new laws introduced in the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill, will establish a legally-binding arbitration process for commercial landlords and tenants who have not already reached an agreement, following the principles in the Code of Practice.
The end of a Perry Holt era and the start of a new one
After almost 20 years in Watford town centre, the Perry Holt team have relocated to Rickmansworth High Street. Our managing director Alex Sewell is the owner of an award-winning estate & letting agency Sewell & Gardner, based in Rickmansworth since 2012, and we decided that we could best serve our clients if all aspects of our property business: sales, new homes, commercial sales, residential lettings, commercial leasing, financial services, surveying and land acquisition – could all be together under one big roof. You can read all about the move HERE.
If you have any enquiry regarding our commercial practices, please contact us using the form below.
In the meantime, we wish you all a happy & healthy festive period and we very much look forward to continuing our commercial and surveying business in 2022.