Reasons to be cheerful for North East commercial property sector
May 2024
Commercial Property

Reasons to be cheerful for North East commercial property sector

Nicola Tiffen - Partner, Commercial Property

As sponsors of the Agency Team of the Year category at the Insider North East Property Awards 2024, Hay & Kilner is proud to be recognising the contribution that the region’s excellent community of commercial property advisors make to the vibrancy of our sector.

Congratulations, first of all, should go to the three consultancies that have been nominated for this highly competitive award, which recognises agency teams in any discipline which have made an impact on the industry across the region.

Avison Young, Parker Knights and Naylors Gavin Black LLP have all done extremely well to make the shortlist for this award in the face of such stiff competition, and we hope their teams all enjoy celebrating their success at the forthcoming awards ceremony at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.

While everyone in our sector has been impacted by economic factors that are rather out of our collective control, I believe there are still reasons to be positive about the prospects for the North East commercial property sector, a viewpoint that is borne out by my team’s experience.

We have seen sustained and robust growth over the last year with an increase in our fee earners, including the addition of a well-respected associate from a national firm to our team, and have increased our turnover by more than 20% from our last complete financial year.

Particularly pleasingly, our Commercial Property Team was also one of three Hay & Kilner departments to be recently commended in The Times’ Best Law Firms list for 2024.

We’re working on a range of different projects across the region, with activity levels remaining high in the leisure sector, particularly on destination projects that provide something out of the ordinary and give their patrons an extra reason to choose to spend their hard-earned disposable income in their locations.

We’re also remaining very active in the owner/managed sector, working closely with the controlling partners in these businesses to ensure our expertise can be applied in the most appropriate ways and can make the biggest possible positive impact on their operations.

The appetite for prime office development in the North East would also appear to be remaining resilient, with the reputational and operational impact on business that move into these high-quality locations being clear to see.

This is backed up by our own experience of taking over the fifth floor of the landmark Lumen building within the Newcastle Helix hybrid city quarter 18 months ago, a hugely impressive location which has enabled us to do far more than our previous offices and which sets the tone for how we want our practice to be viewed.

If there’s one thing that I’m sure everyone associated with the North East commercial property industry would wish for, it’s for an increase in the speed at which the planning system can operate and the extra resources that would be required to make this happen.

Our experience is that even relatively simple matters are taking significantly longer than they should to be resolved, with delays having a tangible impact on the pace of development work, finalising lease agreements or even whether a project progresses at all.

If there is to be a change of government soon, we strongly believe that this should be a priority area for action.

Our hope now is that, while there will still clearly be challenges to address along the way, the growing sense of optimism that we’re feeling within the regional commercial property sector will be sustained and strengthened to the benefit of everyone working in our community and the wider North East economy as we move towards the second half of the year.

Congratulations to everyone at Insider for putting on such an important awards initiative once again this year, and good luck to all the people and businesses that have been shortlisted for the North East Property Awards 2024 – we’ll look forward to seeing you all at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.

Get in touch to find out how our Commercial Property Team can help you.

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‘Hay & Kilner’ and ‘Hay & Kilner Law Firm’ are both trading names of Hay & Kilner LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales with registered number OC418767. Our registered office is at The Lumen, St James' Boulevard, Newcastle Helix, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 5BZ and we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (Authorisation number 643191). We use the word ‘partner’ to refer to a member of Hay & Kilner LLP. A list of the members is available at our registered office.