Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine shop units on market for £800k

Coleraine town centre is a successful retail destination, and interest in the shop units is expected to be strong
Coleraine town centre is a successful retail destination, and interest in the shop units is expected to be strong
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Two shop units in a thriving Co Londonderry town have gone on the market at around £0.8m. And agents Savills said they expect that the Coleraine properties will be snapped up by a cash buyer.

Numbers 3 to 5 Church Street in the town are let out to retailers JD Sports and The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, generating £87,000 in rent.

Neal Morrison, a director at selling agents Savills in Belfast, said the town was a successful retail destination, and that interest in the Church Street units would be strong.

And he said both leases for the units had a few years to run, which created an attractive buying prospect to a buyer.

"Both are very strong businesses with a good covenant."

And he said the units would not necessarily be more likely to be bought by those with existing investment interests in Coleraine.

"There are people throughout the province who would be interested in this. It really is a strong covenant with a good location and pitch in Coleraine, with an attractive yield.

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"There is security of income."

The units are on sale by private treaty through OKT and Savills.

The proposed sale comes as the monthly footfall survey by the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium claimed that shop vacancy rates in Northern Ireland were at a six year low.

However, Aodhan Connolly, the director of the NIRC, said the 14% vacancy rate was still among the highest of the UK regions.

The latest footfall figures show a drop of 0.2% in Northern Ireland in January.

That followed two months of growth, according to figures from the NIRC and Springboard.

The high street saw a rise in shopper numbers, up 2.5%, but total footfall was pulled down by a 3% drop at shopping centres. However, overall, the UK suffered a larger drop in shopper numbers on average, falling by 1.3%.

Mr Connolly added: "The real good news story is the continued fall in the shop vacancy rate, which is now the lowest it has been since 2011.

"The drop to 14% means that we have now had three consecutive quarters of fall in the vacancy rate."

Meanwhile, the Ulster Bank purchasing managers' index (PMI) for January also said retail activity had gone up during January.

But Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said companies were experiencing increasing costs as the falling value of sterling drove up input prices.

He said manufacturing firms appeared to be trying to absorb some of the increased costs.

"Retailers on the other hand appear to be passing on their increased costs entirely to the consumer, and it will be interesting to see to what extent this impacts on consumer spending in the months ahead."

And while retail openings enjoyed a strong 2016, the number of investment transaction in commercial property fell.

Brexit contributed to a 40% slump in investment commercial property deals in Northern Ireland from £400m to £248m, according to agents CBRE's overview of 2016.

Belfast Telegraph