Forecourt property values are at a record high, according to a new report by property advisors Barber Wadlow.
Its Forecourt Property Value Index (calculated in association with Experian Catalist) show values have increased by 62% since the bottom of the market, and are now at a record high exceeding the 2007 peak.
The index recorded a 9% increase in 2016, the fifth consecutive year of growth, meaning a site worth £750,000 in 2011 is now potentially worth £1.2m.
The increase in values in 2016 was achieved despite a sharp downturn in the number of sites bought and sold. Barber Wadlow Research estimates a reduction of 86%, with about 200 sites sold last year, compared with 1,375 in 2015.
Director Adam Wadlow emphasised that the slowdown was caused by lack of supply rather than demand. The oil companies completed divestment programmes in 2015 and the only sizeable acquisition opportunities were independent dealer groups.
In the table of UK forecourt owners, Shell remains at number one with 571, despite a reduction of 33 over 2016, but Top 50 Indie MRH is closing in on Tesco in second place. While MRH grew by 6% to 474 sites, Tesco was unchanged on 504.
With MRH, and fourth and fifth placed MFG and Euro Garages all growing, Wadlow said they could soon be challenging the top two. He said: “Their growth may be slowed because of the lack of stock around, but I think we are going to see them challenging for the top spots in the short to medium term.”
Rontec achieved the greatest acquisition during 2016 with the purchase of a portfolio of 40 sites from the Co-op, although five of them were later sold on to fellow Top 50 Indies HKS and Platinum Retail.
For a copy of the Forecourt Property Market Update 2017 go to the research section at www.barberwadlow.co.uk