As Peterlee, Seaham and the surrounding areas of East Durham continue to thrive, Paul Wellstead from Spectrum Business Park in Seaham looks at the challenges and opportunities the property market faces.

The last 12 months have been encouragingly busy at Spectrum Business Park and indeed across the wider office market in the North East of England.

Decreasing availability in the key city centres and out of town office locations means that the region-wide supply and demand imbalance is likely to continue through 2018. Indeed the start to the new year has seen an increased level of enquiries and viewings.

A limited pipeline of new build and refurbished office space continues to be a factor and this is set to continue for some while yet.

Although office rents in the North East have increased of late, the region still has some of the lowest rental and overall occupational costs in the UK. This means that occupiers looking to control cost but simultaneously tap into a strong labour force and high quality Grade A office buildings, are wise to consider the North East.

For sure the uncertainty over Brexit remains a headwind to the commercial property market but against these challenges the level of enquiries for space remains positive.

Alongside the occupier demand, the office investment market has also had a strong start to 2018 in the North East and this is looks certain to continue. The lower yields that transactions are being agreed at are balanced by the prospect of stronger rental growth for Landlords and there is no shortage of investment capital waiting for the right opportunities to present.

Set against this backdrop, Spectrum Business Park’s recent letting of 27,000 sqft to Northumbrian Water was a major win for Seaham and underlined the location’s positive attributes to major occupiers.

As the employee headcount at Spectrum continues to grow, the surrounding infrastructure is keeping pace. Bus services continue to be boosted by operators Arriva and Go North-East with local shops and services adjacent to the business park continuing to experience greater footfall.

In tandem, the Seaham Business Park networking and support group for local businesses, has brought together the various parks around the town, including Spectrum, to offer advice, events and knowledge led support alongside its sister group in Peterlee.

The remainder of the year is full of positivity for everyone at Spectrum as we look fill the ever decreasing amount of remaining office space at the park.