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Retail rents set to drop

emptyshopRetail rents will fall across the country thanks to reduced demand and increasing availability, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' UK Commercial Market Survey.

A balance of 11% of surveyors said interest from potential tenants fell in the three months to March as a net balance of 17% reported a rise in the availability of unoccupied floor space.

'As a result, rental expectations for the retail sector were firmly negative with 28% more surveyors predicting falls rather than rises in rental values over the coming three months. Significantly, every region in the UK reported negative readings for rental predictions,' says Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist.

'The retail property sector continued to suffer in the early part of the year with falling demand resulting in the continuing negative outlook for future rental values and activity. With the government's response to the Portas Review having been announced last week, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the high street and the retail sector as a whole.'