Owners of commercial properties can be confident their buildings will consistently remain occupied after recent figures show an increase in lettings rates for the seventh consecutive year.

According to Scope Analysis research into 15 open-ended retail real estate funds, average lettings rates rose from 95.6 per cent in 2017 to 95.8 per cent the following year.

It suggested growing occupancy rates could be the result of high demand for rental space in the European office markets, Property Funds World reported.

Frank Netscher, associate director of Scope Analysis and co-author of the findings, said this growth could be limited in the future.

“We expect occupancy rates to be stable over the year, but they will fall slightly in the medium-term since numerous project developments have been acquired in recent years, Mr Netscher stated.

He went on to say falling demand for retail space could negatively affect occupancy rates in the future.

Scope Analysis’ executive director Sonja Knorr added fund performance is directly linked to lettings rates.

Therefore, she commented: “One of the most important tasks of the fund management is to keep letting at a high level.”

Without high levels of occupancy, fund ratings are at risk of falling.

One way to encourage your premises to remain occupied is to make sure it is in the best condition. Invest in cladding repair, bring it up to date, and make sure its interior design is of top quality.

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