London’s West End is a hive of commercial activity, and that sense of activity never stops or fades. For business owners in search of a location for their business premises, the West End is hard to beat in terms of connectivity, creativity, culture, commerce, transport connections, access to top talent, and entrepreneurial spirit.
Jam-packed with national institutions and must-visit attractions, it’s no wonder the West End is one of the world’s most in-demand destinations for office space. This high demand does mean that leasing or buying office space comes with premium rates, but the West End is worth it.
If you’re planning to buy business premises in the West End, whether for your own use or to let out, here’s a quick guide on how to go about it.
Research rental values
This is more relevant if you plan to buy commercial property to let out. You’ll want to talk to a local agent and conduct your own independent research as to the rental values in each area of the West End. You’ll also want to establish the level of tenant demand, which tends to be consistently high across the West End areas of Fitzrovia, Marylebone, Covent Garden, Soho, and Bloomsbury.
Locate a site
It’s all about location, just as when you’re buying a residential property. In the West End, proximity to amenities, good transport connections and other businesses and suppliers are a given. If you know you want to buy commercial property in the West End and your preferred area is Fitzrovia, for example, then all you need do is consider the site itself. If you want to buy commercial premises for your own use, you’ll need to weigh up what your business needs are both now and in the future. Do you need space for parking? How much office space do you need now? Do you plan to expand?
Secure a commercial mortgage
You may need to consult a commercial mortgage broker to help should you require a loan. Either you or your mortgage broker will then need to research the market, compare commercial mortgages, and look for the best deal you can find. You will need to provide information to your lender before they agree to lend to you, so it pays to get this process out the way early as then you’ll be in a better position when you come to put in an offer on a property.
Work out costs
You’ll need to transfer a deposit when contracts are exchanged, then the rest of the money is transferred on completion. For buyers of commercial property, there will be other costs to be ready for. Stamp duty will form a major part of the cost, while you’ll also need to factor in the cost of using a solicitor, a commercial property agent, a mortgage lender, any renovation work, and move-in costs. There will then be ongoing costs.
Put in an offer
If you’re decided on a property, direct a written offer to the estate agent managing the sale. Your opening offer might not be accepted, but you should be able to negotiate a sale price favourable to both parties and close out the deal.
This is only a rough guide in how to buy commercial property. If you plan to buy commercial property in the West End, West End commercial property agents will be able to offer further advice and guidance.