Oil companies have not been as active as expected in acquiring petrol filling stations in the first half of 2019, but this could change in the rest of the year, according to specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co.

In its overview of the retail market in the first half of 2019, it reported that oil companies have not been as active as anticipated, but with Certas acquiring two Gulf-branded sites in Wales in June 2019, the second half of the year could see this change. It also notes that cyclical investors and private equity backed operators have been active throughout this year, but this has been dependent on finding the right stock in a market with low supply and high demand.

Christie & Co says it has seen competitive tension in the market where structured sale processes are concerned. While Christie & Co continues to be involved in ‘off market’ transactions, it advises that premium pricing is generally only achieved through open marketing and this should be a serious consideration for prospective vendors.

Steve Rodell, managing director – retail at Christie & Co, commented: “Despite a backdrop of distress and CVAs on the high street, convenience retail and forecourts, which we at Christie & Co specialise in, have continued to perform strongly, catering to needs-driven consumers. It is a positive time for convenience and forecourt operators, many of whom will continue to focus on boosting their offering and shopping experience.

“The petrol filling station market has been consistently active in 2019, with transactions happening at every level. It is an exciting time in the sector and with high demand outpacing supply, we anticipate there will be continued competition for sites throughout 2019.”