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Strongest commercial property sector growth for six years

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Commercial property sector activity grew at a rate not seen since May 2007, property firm Savills has said

The balance between respondents reporting more or less activity from the previous month stood at +20.1 per cent in July 2013, up from +18.9 in June.

Both private and public new-build activity in the sector rose in July, with respective net balances of +25.9 per cent and +1.4 per cent.

Commercial developers told Savills they were optimistic about the prospects for the sector over the coming quarter, with a balance of +25.1 per cent viewing the outlook positively, against +14 per cent in June.

Positive sentiment was linked to improving client confidence, better weather conditions, higher enquiry numbers and increased availability of bank financing.

Savills director of building consultancy Michael Pillow said: ‘The sharp rise in confidence bodes well for development activity in the second half of the year.

‘Developers will continue to be restrained by lack of debt but this should ensure a sustainable recovery.’

Within the overall commercial sector, the sharp rise in industrial and warehouse activity in July breached a record for the survey, increasing from +26.3 per cent to +32.6 per cent.

The net balance for private office activity was +30.8 per cent in July, the strongest increase in more than nine years.

Public sector retail and leisure activity showed a marginal reduction.

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