Estate agents flag up centre sale prospects

Garden centre estate agents have made their predictions for 2012.

Quinton Edwards director Simon Quinton Smith said worries about the euro made predictions difficult. "There is some debate about current values but our experience is that in prime locations there is still strong demand and good prices being paid. In areas of the country where there are fewer purchasers, demand is low."

He said Klondyke and Dobbies were not buying at present, and whether Garden Centre Group's new owners asset strip or scale up will have a big effect on the market. With smaller centres, there were issues with raising finance and lower offers coming in, he added.

Gilbert Evans partner Mike Gilbert said the garden centre property market was bucking the general retail trend. "Compared with the continuing austere outlook in the high street, garden centres have traded well over the past 12 months."

He added that freehold sites remained the preferred option from independent operators but leasehold was still in demand and now is as good a time as any to sell.

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