SIGNIFICANT SHORTS : South-east towns become worst performing retail locations

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Towns in in the south-east, long regarded as Britain's most prosperous region, have become the "worst-performing" retail locations, according to a new report.

Investment Property Databank found that the worst performing town of the 232 locations covered was Epsom in Surrey, where rental returns fell by 1.1 per cent between 1992 and 1995. Other towns at the bottom of the table were Romford (up 1.4 per cent) Watford, (up 1.7 per cent), Dorking, (2.1 per cent), and Sevenoaks, (3.6 per cent).

The list was headed by St Andrews in Scotland, site of the historic golf course, where rental values rose by 18.8 per cent over the three years to 1995. In second place was Birmingham (up 17.9 per cent), followed by Middlesbrough (17.4 per cent), and Inverness (17 per cent).