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CooperBurnett Solicitors Partner Tom Lumsden attended the launch of the 29th Kent Property Market Report (KPMR)

Partner Tom Lumsden attended the launch of the 29th Kent Property Market Report (KPMR) on the morning of Wednesday 4 November, which was this year a virtual event. Caxtons Chartered Surveyors researched and compiled the Report, which was produced in partnership with Kent County Council and Locate in Kent.

Among positive news, the KPMR revealed that in excess of 500,000sqm new industrial and distribution space is either under construction or has been granted planning permission across the county.

With the end of the Brexit transition period in sight, Caxtons’ Sue Foxley presented statistics that underpin how developers, speculators and businesses have all been preparing for a new way of operating, and why Kent has found itself benefitting from its location, just 20 miles from Europe.

Covid-19 has added to the chaos and caused global disruption to trade routes and worldwide economies alike. So, a double whammy of Brexit and coronavirus on future supply chain security has been at the forefront of this increased activity, bringing welcome investment in the county and sector.

Industrial/distribution space has always been at a premium in Kent, but more so in the past year. This has driven rental growth up by 14% in the space of 12 months. Statistics revealed within the Report include:

• Prime business park rents have risen 5% over the past five years with an annual 1% increase year-on-year. It is expected that the year ahead will prove challenging and that Covid-19 will leave its mark.

• Kent prime office rent has grown at roughly the same rate, increasing by 30% during the last five years, averaging out at 5.3% annually. Due to the pandemic and a lack of rental evidence the picture reflects data up to Q1 2020 and presents a stable market with, at that time, no great movement up or down.

• Covid-19 has proved extremely challenging for the retail sector, which has suffered in Kent as it has elsewhere in the country, although according to the Report, average prime Zone A retail rent has increased 0.5% year-on-year, over the last five years.

• Where the rural landscape is concerned, and according to information from Savills, it has seen a 50% Increase on pre-lockdown levels of website traffic searching for farms and estates in Kent.

• National residential sector values recorded an all-time high in August (Nationwide house price index) and this was confirmed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in its Residential Market Survey – no-doubt helped by the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday for properties up to £500,000.

• Residential construction recorded a number of new developments obtaining planning permission, with more than 2,000 homes now completed at Ebbsfleet Garden City.

“It was encouraging to see how, despite Covid-19, and its effect on the economy nationally, the Kent property market remains resilient and continues to attract new investment and opportunities,” says Tom Lumsden. “A good example is the proposed development at Ashford International Studios, which will be a world-class facility, and which has already drawn interest from the likes of Netflix and Apple.”

The 2020 Kent Property Market Report can be viewed here:

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November 5, 2020
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