In high demand

Pinchinthorpe Hall

Commercial property agent Parker Barras has reported seeing a huge increase in demand, despite the shift towards home or hybrid working.

Parker Barras, one of Teesside’s leading commercial property agents, has reported high demand in the commercial property market and forecasts an extremely healthy post-pandemic market.

Partner Aaron Fisher states that the company has worked with an increasing number of first-time business owners as well as independent retailers who desire bricks-and-mortar premises to complement their online businesses.

He also highlighted that numerous takeaways have sprung up during the pandemic, further boosting the steady demand for commercial units. National occupiers are also assessing property requirements, making for a very active market.

“The first two quarters have been very busy, with Parker Barras proud to include KFC, Cooplands Bakery, MKM Building Supplies and Starbucks UK among our rapidly expanding client base,” Aaron says.

The increase in demand is particularly clear at Parker Barras, which has had a large increase in enquiries from buyers and prospective tenants over the last year.

The firm is currently handling 23 brand new light industrial units at Lagonda Road in Billingham – and Aaron says tenants were queuing up to take occupation before they were even built.

“We have rented out the majority of these units, with only a few remaining, and 75 per cent of the site is start-up companies or first-time business owners,” he added.

“There was definitely a surge in demand at the beginning and we had five tenants ready to move in before completion. We have also had people who were operating from home during the pandemic who became so busy they could no longer do so.”

A former sausage factory spread across several buildings on North Road, Middlesbrough, was placed on the market and received unprecedented demand from investors, developers and owner/occupiers. Parker Barras asked for best and final offers and achieved well over the guide price.

The demand for industrial space continues to be high and the firm has been instructed on a substantial warehouse/distribution unit at Haverton Hill offering more than 80,000 sq ft. Enquiries from companies outside the area looking to relocate have already started to flow in.

Aaron said: “One of our most impressive projects has been the recent sale of a 75,000 sq ft mixed-use property in Peterlee, formerly a call centre.

“The demand for such large call centres during my time with Parker Barras has been non-existent.

“The Peterlee call centre has been repurposed into warehousing and office space for a national furniture manufacturer looking for a new headquarters.

“This important sale points not only to the efficiency of Parker Barras but to the flexibility of our approach, as repurposing the building resulted in a quick and substantial sale.”

Parker Barras has taken on new staff to assist in the expansion of the services on offer, with the objective of providing an enhanced professional and personal experience for clients.

In particular, the company will focus on its ability to fulfill the needs of its national client base, as well as looking to assist in the sale of businesses.

This will complement Parker Barras’ already well-established reputation with national investors, as well as their increased investment in the local leisure and hospitality sector.

Aaron reports a surge in instructions for the firm to assess the business rates liability of local and national companies.

One recent success story has seen Parker Barras claim back more than £90,000 for the UK’s leading independent supplier of PVC panelling, MB DIY.

He said: “Parker Barras is equipped to handle much more than property sales and lettings, making us the all-in-one solution for commercial clients.”

Parker Barras hopes to provide a greater focus on business sales in the coming months.

Aaron added: “We want to help businesses sell their company as a going concern if they are moving on to something else or retiring and we will be focusing on this in quarter three.”

The company believes it has found a gap in the market for these services and expects high demand for them as people reassess their priorities in a post-pandemic world.