We act on behalf of breweries, pub companies, pub chains, pub landlords, publicans, property developers, private, corporate and overseas property investors. Our property investment team can advise on pub or other licensed property sales and acquisitions and how to achieve the best possible financial results both in rental value and capital growth.
>Paramount to sell 25 freehold pubs: Property agent Paramount Investments has put 25 freehouses, worth a total of £12.2m, up for sale.
Prices vary from £110,000 to £2m, with 10 pubs for sale on the list worth £600,000 or more, and three are worth over £1m.
The pubs for sale are distributed throughout England, including several in London, and all are owned by private individuals.
Paramount managing director Mark Greig said: “Part of the reason these pubs are so valuable is that in some cases they come with planning permission for redevelopment.
“While you are waiting for planning permission in the current market, values will probably fall. But if you buy a property with planning permission, you can get on with your property development, modernisation or refurbishment project straight away.”
Three pubs are for sale at more than £1m each are The Golden Lion in Rotherhithe, South East London (£1.1m); The Shakespeare’s Head in Percival Street in the City of London (£1.2m) and The Wagon & Horses in Hayes, Middlesex (£2m).
Planning permission on some of the properties would allow new owners to start building rooms over the main pub to expand business through accommodation, added Greig.
Five pubs a day are closing and as many as 7,500 may disappear by 2012, says the British Beer & Pub Association, in an article in the Daily Mail by David Spittles
With many premises boarded up and for sale at knockdown prices, now is a good time to buy a pub for conversion into a spectacular home, flats or live/work space.
Big pub chains have gradually replaced traditional breweries as the main operators of Britain’s 57,000 pubs.
They have been hit hard by beer tax hikes, smoking bans, cheap supermarket booze and the economic downturn, with plummeting beer sales at their lowest since the Thirties, and are making vast disposals.
These companies, often owned by banks, were more interested in pubs as property investments than in pints but with savage cuts in property values they are now hit from both angles.
Publican tenants are even volunteering to hand back the keys because they cannot make a living from the business, reports the Campaign for Real Ale.
Many pubs are being sold freehold with vacant possession, while others have short ‘fag-end’ leases where the freehold can eventually be acquired.
Bargain prices mean the bricks-and-mortar value of the building is enough to make purchasing attractive, without having to rely on immediate income from running a business.
‘We sold more than 200 freehold pubs last year – from £50,000 to £500,000 – to an amazing range of buyers,’ says Gavin Sherman of specialist agent Paramount Investments.
Pubs have a flexible A4 planning ‘use class’ that normally can be changed to A1 use (say, for a newsagents), A2 (a delicatessen or a firm of solicitors or architects) or A3 (restaurants).
Alternatively, buyers can apply for planning permission to convert the building into a residential property.
Often pubs come with land, beer gardens or car parks that can be developed.
‘Unless it’s a village pub, where community issues come into play, planners are sympathetic to alternative uses. Pubs close because they are not successful businesses and re-use helps regenerate the area,’ adds Sherman.
The cheapest freehold pubs in London cost from about £200,000. In particular, back-street neighbourhood pubs and locals in suburban areas are struggling because of the break up of old communities and other demographic changes.
In run-down areas, planners often want to keep a commercial use for the pub because this boosts local employment.
Many Victorian pubs are listed, which can complicate conversion projects.
Conservation groups, such as English Heritage and The Victorian Society, are fighting hard to stop demolition or ‘unsympathetic changes’, arguing that hundreds of gems have already disappeared.
Grade II listing, which many pubs are, only really protects the exterior of the building, not the interior, which probably has been butchered in the past anyway.
Live/workers, especially those in the creative sector, who want to transform the bar area into a studio or office while keeping the accommodation above intact are often looked on favourably by planners.
Buying a pub is likely to work out cheaper on a pounds per sq ft basis than buying a house in the same street. But the refurbishment costs can blow your budget.
The realistic minimum fit-out cost is about £100 a sq ft (say, £200,000 for a 2,000sq ft pub) but this could rocket if you have expensive tastes.
Before you buy, especially if the pub is in a conservation area, ask local planners about their attitude to the property.
Pubs often sell at auction, either as vacant freeholds or as ‘cold investments’.
With the latter, the freeholder collects rent from the leasehold tenant, but there is potential for redevelopment or re-use at a later date.
Investment ‘yields’ are now typically six per cent plus, double the return of three years ago,
The opening will create 25 new jobs, said the company.
The pub has had a chequered career over the past few years and it was recently acquired by London-based Paramount Investments.
The other half is also to be rented out for retail use, but as yet there are no plans for that.
Mr Burnyeat said: “It is pretty definite now that the Rising Sun will no longer be a pub.”
The left-hand side of the ground floor will be converted into a takeaway, with a counter, a preparation area behind it, an oven area, a washing up area and staff toilets.
A letter from Domino’s supporting the planning application said: “The unit is within walking distance of many local residences.
“The investment in the unit would not only completely refurbish it but would also encourage other landlords and tenants to invest in surrounding properties.
“The proposed use would bring a high level of investment into the building and the shop fitting and installation of equipment is to the highest specification. It would also turn a vacant unit into economic use.”
A spokesman for Domino’s said: “We’re planning to open 50 new stores across the country this year as part of our target to have 1,000 stores by 2017.
“We are continually researching and reviewing locations across the UK in which to open these new stores.
“We are very keen to open a Domino’s Pizza franchise in Devizes and it will create around 25 new jobs in the area.
“We hope that we will be able to bring fresh oven-baked pizza to the Devizes area in the very near future.”
Andrew MacLachlan, chairman of Devizes Chamber of Commerce said: “This is great news. Firstly, I am delighted it is no longer going to be a licensed premises, but I am equally delighted that another national chain is putting its faith in the town.”
>A West Midlands pub selling for £50,000 pub is among 51 Admiral Taverns’ houses released for sale today.
The Miners Arms in Golds Hill, near West Bromwich, and which available on a freehold basis, is among the cheapest pubs ever to appear on the books of pub property firm Paramount Investments.
The remaining 50 vary in price from £50,000 (leasehold) to £325,000 (The Woodbine Tavern, Birmingham).
The pubs are spread geographically over England and Wales. However, the majority are in Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the North West of England.
Paramount Investments managing director Mark Greig said: “More and more pubs are coming on to the market and this is creating some real bargains for purchasers.”
NORFOLK PUBS SUPPORTED BY BUSINESS LINK Pubs are crying out for help to get
over the current recession and one business support group has stepped into
the breach by putting together a survival guide for publicans to help them
get through these difficult financial times.
Pubs have been closing at an alarming rate across the Norwich and nationwide
with many reasons cited for their demise, including the credit crunch, the
smoking ban, and cheaper booze at supermarkets.
Now Business Link has teamed up with industry experts to help slow the rate
of pub closures throughout Norfolk, and to make sure those pubs that remain
are strong, profitable businesses with sustainable, long-term futures.
Edwin Jones, Business Link partnership director for Norfolk, said that to
help slow this trend, it has just published Open for Business, which is
aimed at experienced publicans and novices alike.
“Local pubs throughout the East of England have been facing devastating
business conditions since well before the recession began. “Regular pub
closures have become a fact of life, and nationally we're seeing reports of
up to 36 closures each week.From Norwich Evening News
Mark Greig believes that the Paramount Investments Database has literally changed the way they market their pubs, hotels and licensed properties and as a result they have seen an increase in the amount of deals moving to completion.
Greig says “The impact on business growth has been huge and customers are now placing bids and submitting deals online. As far as we know, we are the first pub and licensed property sales agency to boast this facility”.
Greig continues to add “we have put technology at the forefront of our business and we are now beginning to reap the rewards of doing so. This tool allows our services to be unique and allows us to stand out in a crowd”.
In an economy that is affecting many property companies, Paramount are showing that with the correct tools, innovative thinking and a highly proactive approach to their clients’ needs, there is still lot of quality business to be done.