Lack of supply and strong demand is driving prices for forecourt property, according to a market update published by specialist business property adviser Christie & Co.

In its report covering the first half of 2016 it says demand is being driven by a number of acquisitive operators and lenders looking to lend into the sector.

In its report it says: "It is clear that both operators and lenders see the petrol filling station market as an exciting, secure investment driven by needs based on fuel demand and the opportunity for an increased convenience offering, takeaway coffee and hot food sales which run alongside fuel sales.

"We expect the market to remain buoyant through the middle of the year. While the EU referendum may well take the country’s mind off day-to-day matters, once the result is known there is nothing to suggest that either outcome will have any material effect on petrol retailers.

"We expect to see further demand from group operators looking to expand their estates many of whom have new financial partners keen to support further growth. We also expect to see further development moves towards a modern convenience offer with more and more emphasis on associated sales like coffee and hot food."

The report said buyers were particularly looking for sites with potential to improve the shop, either through extension or complete knock down and re-build.