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Commercial sector rent collection exceeds pre-pandemic levels

The UK industrial and commercial sector has bounced back strongly from the pandemic, according to new research.

Rent collection in the sector has exceeded pre-COVID-19 levels for the first time since the pandemic began, according to commercial property management platform Re-Leased.

Figures published for the December rent quarter analyse rent collection for the 42 days after commercial rents were due on 25 December, and act as a guide for the rest of the quarter.

The figures display resilience in the sector and show that by 8 February this year, landlords had recovered 73 per cent of all commercial rents due, despite the Omicron surge precipitating a small drop earlier in the December quarter.

Performed at highest level

Re-Leased’s analysis is based on live rental collection data from over 10,000 commercial properties and 35,000 leases on its UK platform.

The industrial sector has consistently performed at the highest level throughout the pandemic and has now exceeded pre-pandemic levels of rent collection for the first time, with 84 per cent of rents collected.

In addition, research from property agent Savills indicates 2021 was a record year for the industrial sector, with total investment volumes standing at £10.4 billion, up by 73 per cent on the previous annual record set in 2020.

Recovery is back on track across the other sectors, with the retail sector just levelling at the same point in the September quarter at 69 per cent of rents collected and retail mirroring the national average at 73 per cent.

Strong recovery

Sam Caulton, Re-Leased’s chief financial officer, said: “It’s encouraging to see that our industry has been able to withstand December’s Omicron wave and continue towards full recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

“The industrial sector has gone from strength to strength over the past 18 months as the surge in online shopping provided unprecedented demand for logistics infrastructure. The sector has proved absolutely vital for economic growth, and that only looks set to continue into 2022.”

Regionally there was also a strong recovery. Yorkshire and the Humber and the Midlands are at their highest figure at this point in the quarter since before the pandemic, at 83 per cent and 80 per cent respectively.

For help and advice with commercial property matters, please get in touch with our expert team today.

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