Sidney Phillips - London & South East



01892 725900

southeast@sidneyphillips.co.uk

The South East harbours one of the most dynamic and animated licenced property markets in the country. With some of Britain’s most affluent counties being located in the South East, the area has initiated and energised the market’s road to recovery from the dramatic downturn of 2008 with transactional levels consistently growing year on year.

The area is popular with various types of operators including first-time buyers, multiple operators and multi-national pub and hotel chains, all looking to reap the benefits that the South East has to offer: an expanding economy; consistent employment levels; superb road, rail and airport networks and year-round tourism.

The style of property seen by buyers in the South East is diverse to say the least. Properties range from substantial prominent corner plot Victorian properties to historic thatched country cottages with a story to tell. Kent especially plays host to a number of traditional country coaching inns and hotels, which are popular with buyers and patrons alike. The picturesque locations of Kentish country inns is a great draw for customers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of large towns, but also the large number of Kent residence who commute to central London every day for work.

Property prices in the South East are naturally higher than those witnessed in the rest of the country. With demand for quality pubs, hotels, restaurants, investments and other licenced businesses for sale outstripping supply, purchasers are ready, willing and able to pay over and above the odds for the right site. Sought-after locations such as Royal Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, St. Albans and areas within the M25 strongly stimulate this demand.

Operational freehold pubs and leasehold pub businesses free from trade ties and with the benefit of letting bedrooms continue to be the most prized assets. Tied leasehold agreements, especially premium food-led business sell well in the current market, with experienced operators looking to acquire well established businesses that they can adapt into their own tried and tested styles.

Although much has been said in recent years about the north/south property price divide, optimistically, there is one thing the north and south can agree upon – average prices have been consistent, if not edging upwards in recent years. Many say that this upturn has been driven by the South East market, however one could go even further to say that London, housing the highest concentration of pub, bar, hotel, restaurant and coffee shop businesses in the country, has been the main catalyst in the recovery of the leisure property market. Being the UK’s central hub for commerce, finance and tourism, it is no surprise to hear that this is the case.

With the London micro-economy on a firm increase there are a number of groups keen to get their claws into this lively market, notably: investors, multi-national pub and hotel chains; multiple regional operators; and more controversially, supermarket chains in conjunction with developers. With hot competition for property, buyers are often willing and able to pay over and above the odds to secure their purchases, even in the less fashionable areas of the capital.

The style of pub property seen by London buyers is rather dependant on area. Within Central London one will experience predominantly historic med-terrace public houses dating back to the 18th century, which still encompass many original features with a modern twist. Those who have ventured into the financial district in recent times would also have seen a number of former banks converted into pubs and wine bars, retaining many features such as ornate domed ceilings, marble flooring and teller stations. If you were to explore further out into the more residential areas, you will see former gin palaces and modern builds, catering more for diners and families.

Areas covered from this office include: