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Selling Commercial Property in the UK: Opportunities and Challenges for 2023

Posted by Propertybuyrent on February 2, 2023

The United Kingdom commercial property marketplace has been a magnet for investors among the world’s paramount financial hubs. UK’s stable political environment has always attracted great confidence from investors worldwide. But the Covid-19 outbreak has caused an economic downturn followed by a razor-sharp increase in inflation. The working-from-home culture has changed UK’s commercial real state landscape. Selling commercial property in the UK witnessed a great decline. But unlike its counterparts, such as cryptocurrency, stocks and bonds, commercial real estate has never resulted in zero gains. After a three-year bull run around the pandemic, investors are measuring the opportunities and challenges that await in 2023.

Factors Shaping Opportunities and Challenges in Selling Property in the UK

UK’s commercial real estate marketplace provides potential opportunities for long-term income streams and capital gains. But before diving into commercial property opportunities, the following governing factors should be taken into consideration. 


The UK’s commercial real estate market demonstrates diversification depending on its usage.

For instance, industrial, office to retail property or student accommodation. The UK is among the countries fastly recovering from the aftermaths of the 2020 pandemic. So, it is again a desirable location for students and travellers. This rise in tenant-based investments offers an excellent diverse variety that crosses many other sectors than workplace building, logistics and industrial sectors.

  • Tenant-based income streams show more stability withstanding inflation.
  • UK’s highly credited education system makes student property more attractive in the commercial market.
  • The hospitality sector forecasts more attractive gains due to business travellers and tourists.


A commercial property value hugely depends on its location. A location becomes more desirable for investor when it offers the following:

  • User-friendly, accessible to all the mass transit systems and preferably located at a four-way intersection.
  • An ongoing traffic flow to attract more eyes resulting in free advertising.
  • A surrounding combined with all basic amenities.
  • Vehicle ingress and egress.


Demographics will be a significant factor in influencing commercial market trends in 2023. The value of commercial real estate for the investor depends on the rise and fall of:

  • Age distribution.
  • Educational attainment levels.
  • Population increases through births and migration. 

These demographic changes will likely influence commercial property consumer habits. For instance, if the population gets older, it will create more demand for commercial property utilised as retirement and assisted living facilities.

Market Trends

As asset class evolves every year, it’s essential to stay acquainted with all the market trends followed by government policies. These socio-economic trends reshape commercial real estate portfolios. Such as:

  • Rise in online shopping.
  • Mushroom growth in residential and health-care sectors.
  • Expansion in the storage and logistics sector.
  • Investors and tenants of all asset classes are increasingly concerned with a building’s sustainability credentials.  

Market risks

The working-from-home culture has hugely impacted the business models of commercial real estate assets. This factor points towards the need to review production and supply chains to reduce future risks. As 2022 market trends indicated:

  • 50% decline in shopping centres.
  • Commercial investors’ interests revolve around regular income streams linked to uplift as per rise in inflation.
  • Land prices have soared, affecting the industrial and logistic spheres.

So there is a clear need to understand the law of supply and demand to overcome future disruptive risks. The prices and property value will rise if demand outpaces supply. A retail centre, for instance, will be worth more if it is conveniently situated close to where people live rather than in a business district with little weekend or evening activity.

Property Asset Management

Investors may place a higher value on commercial real estate, allowing buyers to refurbish. Adding more value works as a magnet on real estate compared to commercial property that does not. A knowledgeable real estate investor with the cash available for updating, tenant-friendly professional property management, and innovative leasing strategies can turn a property around by increasing the monthly cash flow and reducing the time the property is vacant. The commercial property buyer is expected to prioritise the following:

  • Improvements to building thermal performance.
  • Using renewable energy sources.
  • Installing EV charging stations.
  • Investments in smart building infrastructure.

Opportunities forecasted by UK Commercial Property Market

  • Mixed-use spaces are expected to be a major trend.
  • Whereas online sales, which require fulfilment space, are predicted to continue driving up demand for high-quality as well as strategically located warehouses.
  • Businesses are more likely to invest in warehouse space to combat supply chain interruption and to be nearer to their customers in the UK.

Challenges forecasted by UK Commercial Property Market

  • Rising expenses may affect the buyer’s behaviour in the office and retail sectors.
  • The rise in standalone office spaces might create a demand for redevelopment.
  • Environmental sustainability trends are more likely to drive buyers to demand building meeting new environmental standards.
  • Demand for more affordable office leases will be a determining factor in selling commercial property.
  • Global supply chain challenges are also expected to increase demand.
  • Commercial property investors will likely face ambiguity around the future demand for office occupations and shopping centres.
  • As companies have shifted towards hybrid working spaces, office spaces are expected to decline.

Bringing all this to a conclusion, selling a commercial property asset is a long-term investment. UK’s commercial property market has suffered a great setback due to Covid-19 aftereffects and the Brexit negotiations. On the other hand, the expanding freelance and entrepreneurial labour force factors have also affected UK’s commercial real estate property values. Moreover, the view of space as a service rather than a fixed asset and the expanding demand for affordable multifamily housing are other important factors. These factors are exerting their influence over the opportunities and challenges for investors in 2023. In order to develop long-term, stable, income-producing assets, investors are paying attention to commercial real estate assets with flexible lease agreements, excluding strict rental restrictions. This market trend indicates that commercial value asset classes like warehouses, data centres, healthcare, senior housing, and mixed-use assets will continue to be in demand.


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