The licensed property market is in rude health, according to property firm Christie & Co.
The company’s latest Business Outlook report stated that, last year, the sector experienced a boom as the average selling price of a UK pub rose by 10.1% – an increase of almost 2% on the previous year (from 8.6% in 2014).
And the firm predicted an eventful period ahead, expecting between 2000 and 3000 pubs to be sold in the next three years.
The report also had good news in terms of ‘alternative usage’ sales, with 84% of pubs sold by the firm having remained as licensed premises under their new owners.
This is an improvement on 2014, when 80% remained as pubs, and it’s a huge rise from 2013, when Christie & Co reported just 67% continued to be run as pubs.
The property firm claims to have enjoyed a strong year of trading last year as it transacted or advised on more than £6 billion of assets – up £2bn on the previous year.
However, the number of “lifestyle buyers” relocating to Scotland has dropped, and many Christie & Co clients, who are currently licensees in Scotland, have indicated that they will consider leaving the trade within the next two years.
But Brian Sheldon, regional director in Scotland at Christie & Co, predicted a strong year ahead. He said: “The continued interest from private equity investors, the growth of the freehouse market fuelled by entrepreneurs and the continuing increase in multiple operators suggest there is a strong year ahead.”