Buying pubs in north-east becoming increasingly popular

Hospitality industry observers are noticing a growing number of people snapping up bargain pub businesses in the north-east of England.

Stephen Taylor, managing director at specialist pub estate agent, Guy Simmonds, said he believes the noticeable increase in buyer interest from the south of the country stems from the excellent value for money to be found, as well as increasing the desirability of areas including Newcastle and the North Pennines.

“Our applicants, often driven by redundancy from the corporate sector, are looking for a lifestyle business in an attractive and desirable location,” he said. “The north-east matches their aspirations well.”

Fellow property expert Martin Stansmore, associate director of Christie and Co, agreed with Simmonds, highlighting that the shoots of recovery in the market were already on full view.

“So far this year we have seen a 60 per cent increase in the number of agreed deals across our Leeds and Newcastle offices compared to the same period last year,” he said. “Viewings have climbed from 360 to just under 600 as confidence has grown.”

Taylor said there was still caution being exercised, however, as the market emerging from the bank lending crisis appeared to be a dramatically different one, prompting more shrewness and bargaining among potential buyers.

“Gone are the days when overpriced businesses with no accounts or values based on potential will find a buyer,” claimed Taylor. “On the other hand, it’s fair to say quality businesses, priced realistically, will continue to sell to our savvy buyers.”

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