Demand for hospitality and leisure businesses in Wales are at their highest since before the recession, fuelled by an improving economy and greater availability of funding.
John Coggins, licensed specialist at the Cardiff office of Christie + Co comments: “As we predicted in our Business Outlook in January, demand for hospitality and leisure businesses has continued unabated in the first half of 2015. Despite a fair share of challenges that the Welsh economy has faced in 2015, both sectors have reported highly positive results.”
“The demand is driven by a number of factors including the improving performance of both the licensed and hotel sector, with recent data from Barclays showing average pub turnover up by 23% since March 2012 and the latest STR UK Hotel Report for Cardiff showing revPAR up 9.2% and occupancy rates up 3.9%.”
He adds: “Banks are also demonstrating a willingness to provide debt to fund acquisitions throughout the country, helping to attract new blood to the industry. Data shows that that the number of pubs owned by landlords aged between 25 -34 has increased by 25% in the last three years and 42% of pub businesses were established in the last three years.”
“There has also been good news for the tourism industry, which continues to see growth and in 2014 enjoyed a record breaking year with overnight visits to Wales by GB residents hitting 10 million for the first time.”
The Christie + Co Cardiff office also enjoyed an excellent 2014, transacting on over £40m of hotel assets across the region and just under £13m of pub and restaurant sales. The team, which was recently awarded an EGi ‘Overall top agent’ award in the Hotels and Leisure category, has been involved in a number of exciting transactions recently.
One notable transaction was the sale of Maes Manor Hotel, an attractive 28 bedroom country house hotel in Blackwood with spectacular views across its nine acre picturesque gardens and the valley. The hotel was brought to the market at the beginning of February and a sale was swiftly agreed to experienced leisure operators Warner Hotels Limited following a short period of open marketing.
Other highlights include a number of freehold pub sales including the sale of the Michelin Guide featured Raglan Arms in Monmouthshire, which was sold off a £370,000 guide price. The Prince of Wales, a traditional community public house at the edge of the Brecon Beacons national park was sold to a local investor. The Angel, a period pub in Newtown town centre, sold in March to a local operator and the Corner House, a traditional pub in Aberdare completed in May. The strong demand for quality licensed premises looks set to continue with a sale being agreed on the Ship Inn, Llangrannog, after just over a week of marketing.