Warrington Property Report 2016 cover

Industrial tops the bill in Warrington property report

Warrington’s industrial market experienced the highest number of investment deals on record in 2015, at 84 transactions, according to Warrington & Co’s eighteenth property report released on Friday.

The report, which relates to market activity in 2015, provides a barometer of activity in the local commercial and residential property market.

Investment

According to the report, compiled by BE Group, the investment market produced the third largest number of deals on record in Warrington, the majority of which either related to industrial or office transactions, the largest of which was the sale of the 400,000 sq ft Winwick Quay Business Park to LaSalle Investment Managers, reflecting an initial yield of 7.58%.

Industrial property transactional deals, which account for 1.1m sq ft of 2015’s total of investment deals, reached an all-time high in 2015 with 84 deals above 2,000 sq ft, reflecting a level of almost 70% above the norm.

The largest value office investment deal was the sale of Talk Talk’s Stanford House at a net initial yield of 7.36% to South African property investment fund Textron.

While last year the report showed that 2014’s investment deals reached £400m, triple that of the previous year, despite the number of deals 2015 showed a return to normal investment levels in Warrington, at a total of around £160m, although this excludes several purchases which remained undisclosed.

Offices

In 2015 Warrington’s office market saw a growth in start-up businesses, marking a trend for the requirement of smaller office premises. This is reflected in the average transaction size of 6,000 sq ft.

Demand for larger office space from occupiers decreased from 2014, deal numbers were still high with Birchwood continuing to be the focus of activity with eight of 2015’s largest office deals, including 25,000 sq ft for Amec Foster Wheeler at PIN Properties’ Washington House.

Development

Ongoing development in the area included the Stadium Quarter which saw the completion of 50,000 sq ft business incubator, The Base, and a start on site for the £10m, University Technical College Warrington, due to complete in 2016.

Town centre retail will benefit from the provision of a new, £10m market hall that is expected to be completed in 2019, part of the Time Square regeneration scheme.

The first phase of the £107m Time Square scheme started on site in 2015 with the construction of the temporary market building that will house the existing market whilst the permanent market hall is being built.

At Omega, a 320,000 sq ft speculative development was commissioned by LondonMetric on Omega South and a further three acres purchased by Hermes Parcelnet.

City centre masterplan

Building on this success, Warrington & Co, on behalf of Warrington Council, has been commissioned a refreshed masterplan of town centre development, to be delivered later this year.

The plan would “build on the success of 2015 and early 2016. The plan is understood to be an update on the Warrington Means Business Plan approved in 2014.

Housing

Last year saw Omega submit a planning application for 1,100 homes that will be located adjacent to the Omega South logistics park.

Statistics show that 704 homes were completed in Warrington in 2015, with the majority being three or four bed houses and one in seven being affordable homes.

The average price of a semi-detached home in Warrington in 2015 was £177,000 while detached homes sales averaged £325,400.

The Warrington Annual Property Review is commissioned by Warrington & Co, Warrington’s partnership for driving growth.

Sponsors of the 2015 report are AECOM, Muse Developments, Orbit Developments, EWI, Wire Regeneration and Turner & Townsend. The information was compiled by the BE Group.

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