You don’t have to travel too far in Britain until you come to a high street with vacant shops boarded up.
Research from Local Data Company’s review of 3,000 retail centres across the country shows that in the first half of 2019, almost 12% of retail sites were unoccupied.
A combination of rising rental costs and low consumer confidence and demand has led to the number of empty shops in Britain being at its highest level for five years.
Major retail trends have fared the worst in the decline of high street shopping, with 3,508 less shops in operation compared to a year ago.
Independent stores are proving to be more resilient to the current climate of consumers choosing to shop online, with just 138 closing in the six sixth months of 2019.
With the demand for high street shopping diminishing, commercial property owners are being forced to find other tenants for retail sites, including office space, warehouses and homes.
Unoccupied commercial properties and insurance
Unoccupied buildings present unique risks and challenges for property owners. The key issues of unoccupied properties include being vulnerable to fire, break-ins, theft, vandalism and other malicious damage.
Because of the higher risks, unoccupied commercial property is often more difficult to arrange compared to standard commercial property insurance.
With risks such as fire and theft being greater when a property is left vacant, many insurers can be reluctant to provide cover.