27 July 2001

Rural office rises

RURAL office rents have risen by an average of 35% in the past three years as companies look to escape urban pressures, according to a survey by land agent Strutt & Parker.

Parking problems, congestion and poor quality housing have led to many businesses looking for a better quality of life in the countryside.

"The result was not only dramatically improved rents, increasingly at or above the local urban equivalents, but very satisfactory rates of returns of between 12% and 20%," says the companys Leo Hickish.

But the growth is not nationwide. Remote, less accessible areas have to settle for lower rents and alternative uses, perhaps light industrial or storage lettings, says Mr Hickish. &#42