Consumer spending buoys rent

Retail rents are continuing to grow on the back of buoyant consumer spending, with Northampton, Leeds and Leicester seeing the biggest increases, according to the latest 50 Centres survey from Jones Lang LaSalle.

Top rents in Northampton rose 16.7 per cent in a year to£140 Zone A.

Leeds has seen a 14.7 per cent increase in prime rents, while Leicester has seen a 10.3 per cent rent hike.

On average, retail rents are growing at 1.1 per cent a year, according to JLL acting head of UK research Sotiris Tsolacos. He said: 'Retail rental growth will continue this year. Despite the slowdown in consumer spending growth, in 2005 we expect rental growth to remain positive, albeit small. However, rents may stagnate in areas where strong rental growth was seen last year.'

However, four locations recorded a decrease in achievable Zone A rents, with Oxford down 7.8 per cent, James Street in London's Covent Garden down 7.4 per cent, Bolton down 3.4 per cent and Colchester down 2.9 per cent.