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Commercial Property Strategies For 2022

Suzi Carter, a Chartered Surveyor with 25 years’ experience in the commercial and residential property sectors, comments

This article marks my 12th issue of writing for Property Investor News, and it’s been a pleasure to accompany you throughout 2021. It's almost 2022 already and that time of year when we’re all sitting down to do our business plans and look ahead to our future strategies.

And what a strange world we continue to find ourselves in! After being in the commercial property market for over 25 years I’ve never seen a market like this one. The world has changed, and it’s a market where each sector is responding very differently to the unique set of market conditions we find ourselves in. But it’s also a market full of opportunities for commercial property investors –  if you know where to look.

I would say that the most dangerous place you can be with your commercial property investing in 2022 is to be a generalist. Niching is the name of the game – whether that is by sector, strategy, or location – as the market continues to recover from the impact of Covid and Brexit.  

There are some very clear market trends that have emerged over the last two years and the key to success in 2022 will be to look where you can take advantage of these to your benefit. Not all strategies will work in this market, and not all strategies will work in every location. So, after a lot of thought (and a lot of crossing out) I have put together my top five strategies in commercial property for 2022. These come with a caveat of course, and that is for you to do your own due diligence and make sure that these strategies work in your investing locations. Strategies such as these can be very locational dependent – after all there is a reason that the mantra ‘location, location, location’ was first adopted with regards to commercial property. However, assuming you've done your research then these top five trends are worth thinking about in 2022.

1. Commercial Conversions to Residential
When the office to residential permitted development right (Class O) was first introduced in the early 2010’s, a small number of people made a lot of money for 2-3 years after it was first announced, because the market wasn't factoring it into the pricing of secondary office buildings. After that, the profits thinned as agents started to price it in. With the recent new raft of permitted development rights announced by the Government as part of the ‘Build Build Build’ economic recovery agenda, we find ourselves in a situation where a much wider range of properties can be converted to residential with the need only for a prior approval application (in England only).

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