Growth in the UK out-of-town market is likely to slow over the next five years, as Government initiatives to encourage in-town development start to kick in.

According to a report by Verdict in association with Savills, out-of-town growth in northern European countries – the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands – will slow over the next five years.

Northern Europe has a more established out-of-town proposition and growth will be driven by initiatives to rejuvenate the older retail parks, the report said.

Out-of-town growth will be much faster in southern Europe, especially in Spain and Italy, it revealed.

These markets have experienced relatively little out-of-town development over the past five years and provide many opportunities, with developers seeking to capitalise on the expansion of retailers to retail parks in the region.

The report suggests that Italy will be the fastest growing country, with 46 per cent space growth from 2007 to 2012. Spain followed at 25 per cent and would be growing faster if there wasn’t concern about the robustness of the Spanish property market.

Out-of-town expenditure in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain in the next five years will grow 17.4 per cent, compared with 19.1 per cent between 2002 and 2007. The growth will mainly come from Southern Europe.

The report said that growth will be stalled because of restrictive legislation, an increasing ageing and immobile population and the internet.