Kent’s retail market has mirrored the national situation, with many chains either undertaking store rationalisation or seeking to negotiate rent reduction via CVA negotiations with landlords.
Former stores of national retailers, such as Debenhams, have changed hands with its former Folkestone store site purchased by Folkestone & Hythe District Council for £2.05m. Permission has also been granted to redevelop Debenhams’ Canterbury stores to create the Guildhall Quarter, a mixed used retail and residential development close to the cathedral and High Street.
The former Nasons Department Store, also in Canterbury, is the subject of a planning application to create a new retail destination and commercial space alongside residential and serviced apartments in the heart of the city. Kent has also welcomed the opening of a major Marks & Spencer store at Eclipse Park near Junction 7 on the M20, offering 7,808m2 of food, clothing and homewares.
Kent’s housing market remains buoyant. The small and large scale housebuilders have returned to the market and look set to benefit from the drift of families looking to relocate from the capital to improve their work-life balance as a result of the pandemic. The window of Government support in the form of the increase in the Stamp Duty threshold combined with Help to Buy is likely to drive high levels of activity until March when these incentives are proposed to fall away.
Analysis undertaken by Zoopla for the Kent Property Market Report found average house prices in the county’s towns are 10 per cent lower than the South East average. This relative affordability has driven demand pushing average annual growth over the last five years to 4.2 per cent across Kent’s main towns. This compares with an average of 3.2 per cent for South East towns.
The Kent Property Market Report is supported by Cripps Pemberton Greenish, DHA Planning, Handelsbanken, Hollaway, MHA Macintyre Hudson and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS).
For more information and to download a copy of the 2020 Kent Property Market Report, visit www.kentpropertymarket.com