Rates Revaluation 2017: Who Will the Winners and Losers be in Oxford?

18/11/2016
City Centre losers and out of town winners according to recent study by commercial property specialists VSL & Partners.


Friday 30th September 2016 saw the publication of The Valuation Office Agency’s draft Rating List for the assessment of business rates on commercial property in England and Wales.  These rating valuations will come into effect from 1st April 2017. 

Commercial properties in the UK pay business rates to Local Authorities which are based on a property’s ‘Rateable Value’ which for the 2017 Revaluation, is assessed on the basis of the annual rental value of a property at 1st April 2015.  They are normally reviewed at five yearly intervals: this is known as a ‘revaluation’ however this review will have taken seven years to come to effect.

The current 2010 Rating List is based on 2008 rental levels – just before the collapse of the global banking markets and economic crisis.  As a result, some feel that business rates today are artificially high and are looking forward to a correction to the Rating List.

As with previous rating revaluations there will be winners and losers with the introduction of the 2017 Rating List.  To enable businesses to prepare for the impact of the 2017 revaluation, VSL & Partners has studied the 2017 draft Rating List to assess how it compares to the current 2010 Rating List and to identify which areas of Oxford will see a hike in business rates and which areas will yield a saving.  

Andrew Lockhart, director of VSL & Partners says, “Our investigations into the 2017 Rating List shows that Rateable Values for both industrial and retail properties have generally increased.  The level of increase is most marked in the industrial sector where we have seen rises of up to 23%.  This does, however, concur with our view of the industrial rental sector which has seen rents rise from 2008.

The retail sector has seen rises in Rateable Values of between 8% and 15% in Oxford, which we tend to agree follows the rental market although some areas are suffering more due to the general decline in High Street trade.

The office sector shows a more mixed picture.  Oxford City Centre and Botley increasing by 10%-15% whilst edge of the city business and science parks reducing by 14% -16%.  This also reflects recent increases in rental level in the City Centre which has seen rents rise due to increased demand and a lack of supply.

We recommend all occupiers check their Rateable Values and don’t forget, the rates you pay are based not on the Rateable Value but on a percentage of the Rateable Value and just to make matters more complex also the effect of a Transitional phasing scheme”.

Rates is a complex field of law and if you have any queries please contact one of VSL & Partners experts on 01865 848488 or visit http://www.vslandp.com

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