Property experts Christie & Co have reported strong demand for forecourt assets coming to the market this year.
In a commentary on the first half of 2021, it said that in 2020 the UK forecourt sector proved itself to be resilient against an unpredictable backdrop, leading to a strong buyer appetite to emerge for forecourt assets coming to the market.
This demand has remained consistent throughout the first half of 2021, particularly for opportunities across England’s North East and North West regions, where better value and business growth potential is perceived among investors.
Since January 2021, its retail team has sold 23 forecourts across the UK and the level of enquiries the team continues to receive outweighs the number of sites available for sale.
In the North West, the year kicked off with the leasehold sale of Partington Service Station, a previously Essar-branded forecourt in Partington, Greater Manchester to an independent first-time buyer.
The sale was a rare opportunity for an independent purchaser to acquire an unopposed local forecourt and convenience store, with significant growth potential, on a new lease basis. The new leaseholder, Saqib Javaid, is rebranding the forecourt to the Murco brand and plans to rebrand the convenience store to the Londis symbol group.
During February, the team completed on the sale of Project Ranger, a portfolio of seven petrol filling stations operated by Marla and Gus Saggu to Certas Energy UK. The portfolio of forecourts, located across the North East of England, attracted multiple offers for individual sites and also on a group basis.
A number of multiple operators have similarly turned to the north to carry out their expansion plans over the past few months, with deals completing to this type of buyer, including Carmel Road Service Station in Darlington and Loggerheads Garage, in Loggerheads, North Wales, which were both on a freehold basis.
In addition Broadway Service Station in Manchester, Ouston Service Station in Durham and Morfa Garage in Pwllheli, North Wales all completed on new long-term leases to growing multiple operators. All sites received multiple offers and disposal options from strong buyers.