Retailers are leading the upsurge in property investment, with medium and larger companies setting the pace. For the first time demand for town centre space matched out-of- town and suburban requirements, suggesting the Government is succeeding in its stated aim of stemming the flow to environmentally unfriendly greenfield shopping centres.
Sudhir Janankar, CBI associate director, said: "Business confidence has strengthened markedly compared with six months ago and companies expect a further pick-up ... led by domestic demand. With profitability set to grow faster over the next six months, the upturn in the commercial property market is becoming more firmly based."
The CBI/Grimley survey shows the highest expectations since the poll began in November 1994. Thirty-two per cent of companies expect to increase their property holdings, while 26 per cent expect a reduction.
The biggest increases are expected to come from the distribution, metal manufacturing and chemical processing, transport and communications sectors.