Average convenience retail property prices in the UK increased by 2.1% during 2010, compared to a decline of 9.8% in 2009, with forecourts proving particularly resilient, according to Christie & Co’s latest Business Outlook publication.

The company’s research confirmed that new operators continued to enter the forecourt sector in 2010 and existing operators acquired new sites to expand their estates.

Tony Evans, head of retail at Christie & Co, said: “While there were a few forecourt business failures last year, the sector as a whole remained positive and operators continued to explore ways of expanding their product offering and increasing income.

“Over the next 12 months, we could see some overseas investors coming into the forecourt market in response to the oil company divestment, while we can expect forecourt operators to focus on their convenience and chilled food lines as fuel margins will continue to be squeezed.”

Evans added that while convenience store transactional activity in 2010 remained relatively restrained, the number of deals increased slightly compared to 2009, and predicts that this year operators will buy more going concern businesses as new development opportunities dry up.