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Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said “crippling business rates and the impact of covid lockdowns are a key part of decisions to close stores and think twice about new openings.”

Business rates are based on shop rental values and paid by tenants rather than property owners. Business rates are on course to rise by up to 30pc next April.

The BRC said vacancy rates had also climbed from 11.1pc in 2018 to 13.9pc in the second quarter of 2023, although they are down from a peak of 14.5pc in 2021.

It’s online.

10 thoughts on “Tossers”

  1. Could Britain be like Oz, with the damn shops refusing to sell the equivalent of 100 watt bayonet fitting light bulbs??

    If they won’t sell their customers what they want, it’s no wonder they’re going broke!!

  2. Vacancy rates are up; so why are rents up 30%? My guess is some locations are doing very well indeed, pulling up the average.

  3. How many are getting those commercial rents at +30% from real customers? What’s the bid/offer spread?

    I’m better that the reality is that we’re long past peak office rates and excluding inflationary increments in upwards-only rent reviews the reality of rental prices is a steady downward trend.

    Probably less so for high street shop rental than offices.

  4. John Galt has it – most office and commercial property is owned by institutions with upward-only rent reviews written into the contract so the only time a rent can fall in nominal terms is when a long lease runs out. The average has to go up because it is an aggregate of rents frozen at a level above the market level and rents that rise because the market level has risen since the last review. Inflation *can* erode the “real” value of frozen rents, but usually pushes up the nominal rent by more than it erodes the “real” value.
    I should still like to look very hard at a claim that rents are up by 30% (firstly, since when?, secondly where?)
    I strongly suspect that Business Rates are NOT up 30% but that “Rateable values” are up 30% *in some places* because rateable values are only revised every four or five years and a 30% rise does little more than reflect inflation over the intervening period. If rateable values are up by 30%, then the “rate in the pond” should go down by 23% in order to raise the same amount of money.
    I strongly suspect that this is a “bait and switch” – tell people that rateable values have risen by “up to 30%” (which means mostly less than 30%) and then carry on as if the rates actually paid are 30% higher.

  5. I would have to crawl in the attic to go back any further, but in 2013 I was charging £400pm for my shop, during Covid I briefly dropped it to £300 until my tenant just couldn’t manage any longer and she went 100% online+trade shows, I’m currently charging the current tenant £500pm.

    I have no idea how that compares with the rest of the market.

    About ten years ago my insurance broker sold his shop and relocated to his garage at home. A friend’s accountant and another friend are in the process of doing the same. Huge amounts of bricks-and-mortar office space is being made redundant to modern working practises.

  6. “…so why are rents up 30%?…”
    I’m assuming that’s nominal but a big factor is business rates going down. If you’re eligible for Retail Relief you get 75% off, if the Rateable Value is under 12k and you are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief you get 100% off. The current SSB scheme also suppresses business rates.
    In the long term, cuts to business rates result in increases in rents, ‘cos business rates in the long game are incident on the landlord.
    Who knew?

  7. I’m assuming that the ONS are showing a transaction count, not necessarily a transaction value ratio? It’s unclear from the underlying ONS post.

    Interesting, in that there are two clear trends – more is being bought on-line, but the Black Friday November peaks are increasing at a rate above the underlying.

    There might be a split coming up, depending.

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