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Caption: (l-r) David Fitzsimmons, Chairman, Locate in Kent; Mark Coxon, Director, Caxtons; Paul Carter, Leader, Kent County Council; Mark Dance, Cabinet Member for Economic

Caption: (l-r) David Fitzsimmons, Chairman, Locate in Kent; Mark Coxon, Director, Caxtons; Paul Carter, Leader, Kent County Council; Mark Dance, Cabinet Member for Economic

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New homes & growing office rentals driving Kent economy, says Kent Property Market Report

Caption: (l-r) David Fitzsimmons, Chairman, Locate in Kent; Mark Coxon, Director, Caxtons; Paul Carter, Leader, Kent County Council; Mark Dance, Cabinet Member for Economic

Caption: (l-r) David Fitzsimmons, Chairman, Locate in Kent; Mark Coxon, Director, Caxtons; Paul Carter, Leader, Kent County Council; Mark Dance, Cabinet Member for Economic

Kent and Medway have registered a significant upturn in housing development in the past year, along with the return of growth in office rentals for the first time since 2008, according to the Kent Property Market Report 2015.

Produced by Caxtons Chartered Surveyors, Kent County Council and Locate in Kent, the report was launched at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel today (November 5), along with a new KCC-led initiative to ensure vital infrastructure is in place to support predicted growth in commercial and residential development.

The 2015 Kent Property Market Report finds that taking London out of the equation, the South East led the UK residential property market upturn in 2014 with prices across the region rising by 8.1%. In Kent, that figure was 10.4%, with the county also seeing a 17% increase in the number of properties sold, well ahead of the South East average.

However, the most significant change over the past year was the upturn in residential development. While 2013/14 had seen a low point in housing supply in Kent with just 3,628 homes completed, the last 12 months have seen a sharp increase in on-site works starting and applications coming forward.

The news is just as encouraging in the office sector with the return of rental growth for the first time since the global financial crisis hit the market. While rental growth in the county is still slightly behind the national and South East averages, the report describes the upturn as significant.

Additionally, it states that the recent past has left rents in the county relatively affordable when compared to the rest of the region, making Kent an attractive proposition for relocating and expanding businesses.

Elsewhere, rental growth of 0.2% in the county’s warehouse sector outperformed UK and regional averages, while the retail sector also saw growth after five years of falling rents.

Caxtons’ Chairman Ron Roser said that as main sponsor and contributor to the Kent Property Market Report, the firm was especially pleased to see that the continued improvement in the property sector is reflected in this year’s research findings.

“Kent has mirrored other occupational office and industrial markets outside London in demand and rental growth. In turn, this has sustained investor interest, and when strong assets do come to the market there is increased interest and competition. 

“Consumer confidence has fuelled the residential market with a promise of almost 27,000 new homes for the county. There is marked activity on development sites across the county.  This buoyancy has proved to be an impetus to major regeneration schemes with a strong residential component.

“There is comparatively slower growth in the retail sector with limited rental improvement but business parks are experiencing a resurgence and in many cases, old office and dated office stock has been refreshed and converted to much needed residential dwellings.

“In general, improving infrastructure and on-going regeneration has positively and directly benefitted Kent, presenting us with many more opportunities than in the recent past.  This year’s Report reflects the buoyancy across the industry and it is welcomed by all.”

A clear indication of the growth in demand has come from Locate in Kent, the county’s investment promotion agency, which helped 46 companies, 16 of them from overseas, to set up in the county in 2014/15, bringing with them 2,612 jobs.

“In terms of growth across the key sectors, this year’s property market report is one of the strongest in recent times,” said Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent.

“A number of strands are coming together now that make Kent particularly attractive to businesses, from Growth Deal funding to infrastructure projects and increased confidence.

“But that all brings with it the key challenge of ensuring that new office, warehouse and industrial space is coming forward sufficiently quickly to meet the increased demand we are seeing for commercial property.”

The event also saw KCC leader Paul Carter unveil conclusions from the Kent and Medway Growth and Infrastructure Framework (GIF), which has been developed in collaboration with Medway Council and the 12 district authorities.

The GIF highlights the significant growth anticipated in Kent over the next 16 years and identifies £6.74bn of infrastructure developments required to support it. It also recognises a funding gap of £2.01bn which, if not addressed will impede the county’s growth.

However, Kent County Council is taking action to address this and find innovative solutions, working with Medway and the Kent districts, Government, utility companies and private sector, engaging with Government and other partners, including private sector investors, to meet that significant funding gap.

Commenting on the GIF initiative, Paul Carter said: “The GIF is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to set the terms of the agenda for infrastructure in Kent and Medway with Government and the private sector.  It tells a sobering story about the challenge we face in delivering growth, but it also gives us a unique chance to do something about it.

“The growth challenge we face in Kent and Medway is significant – to deliver the approximately 160,000 homes and over 135,000 jobs that local authorities are planning across the area to 2031, there is a £6.74bn bill for infrastructure, of which £2bn is unfunded.

“The resulting infrastructure challenge is one that we face collectively across local authorities, the development industry, our communities and national Government. 

“The solution to this challenge will not come from the public sector alone, nor can we simply expect to get all of this from the industry; rather we need real innovation in how we work with the private sector and Government to get the most out of the resources we have, whilst introducing new ways of leveraging funding and capturing value from development.  

“With the GIF and our 10 point action plan, we will be working with industry, public sector and communities to create the best opportunity for quality communities across Kent and Medway into the future.”  

The Kent Property Market Report is also supported by Cripps, DHA Planning, Kreston Reeves and RICS.

To download the report visit or see below.

Search and find the perfect commercial property in Kent for your business. Locate in Kent gives advice and relocation support to international and UK companies looking to move or expand. Call +44 (0)1732 520700 or email


Locate in Kent would like to thank - Canterbury Christ Church University, Discovery Park, Frogmore, Kent County Council, Liberty Property Trust UK, London Array, Medway Council, Thanet Earth, University of Kent and Visit Kent - for the use of their images on this website.