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LONDON-Out-of-town retail continues to be the strongest-performing property sector with many UK locations seeing strong rental growth, according to new research from TW Research Associates and FPDSavills. But there continues to be a wide variation in peak rents achieved on retail parks ranging from £5 ($7.50) to £81 ($120) per sf.

Fosse Park, in Leicester remains the UK’s most expensive shopping park with peak rents of £81 ($120) per sf. This puts it comfortably ahead of its nearest rivals. The researchers found three UK parks where rents had reached £50 ($75) per sf: The Fort in Birmingham; Brookfield in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire and Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh.

Retail warehousing emerged as a cheaper alternative to the high street for retailers needing large units, and most parks rents are still considerably lower that in the few fashion parks that have unrestricted planning consents. According to Trevor Wood, Principal of TW Research Associates, most out-of-town rents are still in the £10 ($15) to £20 ($30) per sf rent band and only 6% of retail parks having peak rents above £25 ($38) per sf.

Richard Allsop, Director of FPDSavills Commercial, said: “We believe that the growth in retail park rents will continue over the next 12 months and specifically that a significant number of parks will enter the £20 ($30) to £25 ($38) per sf bracket.”

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