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RETAIL AND LEISURE PARKS GUIDE REVEALS STRONG PERFORMANCE OVER PAST YEAR

27 May 2014

The recently-published “Definitive Guide to Retail and Leisure Parks 2014” has ranked Osborne King yet again as number one in its Regional Letting Agents (NI) and Regional Managing Agents (NI) categories. The annual review of the UK retail warehouse sector ranked the company among the Top 20 Letting and Managing Agents in the UK, while Corbo Properties Ltd comes top in the Retail Warehousing Ownership category for Northern Ireland.

The guide, which is the industry’s leading publication, takes a close look at how retail and leisure parks are performing on a national and regional basis reveals that vacancy levels for bulky goods retail parks across the UK have fallen to 8.8%, the lowest rate since 2007 while vacancy levels for Open A1 parks (fashion retail) dropped to 6.9% from 7.5% recorded at the end of 2012. While the guide refers to a number of company failures during the previous year that include Focus, Comet and Dreams, a combination of virtually no new development and the expansion of active retailers such as Poundland, Home Bargains, Poundstretcher and B&M Bargains means that much of this vacant space has now been re-occupied. B&M Bargains was the most active retailer across the UK over the past year.

Overall, the guide reveals that market conditions are improving with demand increasing and acknowledges that we are in a period of recovery. The sector appears to be robust in Northern Ireland, which has over 40 retail and leisure parks, top of which is Boucher Retail Park in Belfast, owned by Corbo Properties Ltd.

Colin Mathewson of Osborne King remarked:”This report is useful in highlighting the fact that low vacancy levels and reduced development activity have resulted in the retail warehouse sector’s strong performance over the past year. We expect new retailers to expand into Northern Ireland in the year ahead and anticipate a return to rental growth as a result.

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