Two-thirds of property professionals in the UK believe former retail premises could be the biggest untapped resource for new residential development, according to a survey by real estate software firm MRI Software.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of those surveyed see residential redevelopment of sites previously used by retailers giving the British High Street a new lease of life, the research report, Charting UK Property Trends, shows.
The research also reveals that three-quarters (76%) of the industry experts MRI canvassed think Brexit will not seriously hamper the ability of the UK property sector to get the funding it needs to develop properties – including 94% of the property investors, owners and developers. Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents also see demand for residential rentals in the UK accelerating, driven by the continued high cost of buying a home.
“Charting UK Property Trends provides a comprehensive inside view of the challenges property players face today and where the opportunities lie,” said Dermot Briody, executive managing director, Europe at MRI Software. He added: “The research shows we will see a far greater number of people living in town centres, which will give a boost to retailers on the High Street while feeding other businesses such as gyms and entertainment venues.”
The survey took the responses of 144 senior property experts from a range of organisations, including investors/owners/developers, consultants, contractors, property managers, sales and lettings agents, service providers, and business occupiers.