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‘Left-behind’ towns outperform for commercial property transactions

The ‘left-behind’ towns across England and Wales earmarked for £20m endowment-style funds each under the Government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns, have outperformed the property market for commercial transactions, according to a study by Search Acumen.

The Prime Minister and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) recently announced a list of 55 ‘overlooked’ towns across England, Wales and Scotland in which more funding will be allocated for local priorities such as reviving high streets. 

However, Search Acumen’s analysis of data for England and Wales indicates that commercial property transactions in these left-behind towns has significantly outpaced the wider market. 

Its findings show at the height of the property boom in 2021, the total amount spent on commercial property transactions in 48 ‘left-behind’ towns across England and Wales totalled £3.3bn, up by 23% from the £2.7bn seen in 2017. This growth rate was almost four times higher than seen across the rest of the market over the same period, where spending on commercial transactions was up 6% from £101bn to £107bn. 

Even allowing for the slowdown during 2022, commercial spending on property transactions in left-behind towns was just 3% down on 2017 levels, compared to a 19% fall across the rest of the market

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