The firm saw a 3.3% increase in the average sale price for freehold and leasehold pubs in 2013 compared to 2012, as outlined in its annual Business Outlook report, which calculates statistical changes derived from pub transactions brokered by the company.
In 2012 the average sale price of a pub fell by 3.3%, while there was a 1.1% drop in 2011 and a 0.9% decline in 2010.
Christie+Co’s director and head of pubs Neil Morgan said that this has made for a confident year in the UK’s pub marketplace.
With regards to alternative use, 67% of the pubs sold by Christie+Co in 2013 stayed as pubs, a five percentage point rise compared to 2012. Of these trade buyers, 66% were multiple operators, pubcos or experienced publicans — a 9% drop since 2012. The remaining 34% were first-time buyers.
Speaking exclusively to the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, Morgan said: “It tells us the quality of what we’re selling is getting better and that there are some really good, young, eager entrepreneurs coming into the business.”
He said this will help reduce the number of pubs closing each week, which — despite the continued warnings from trade pressure groups and Parliament — has actually declined.
The agent found that estate churn in 2013 slowed, as pub companies had disposed of the majority of their bottom-end estates and sought to improve the tenant relationship rather than continue to fight over the beer-tie battleground.
At the end of last year, Christie+Co was instructed by administrators to sell the 103 pubs remaining in the Bramwell Pub Company estate, after Stonegate had acquired 78 sites.
Morgan said that the pub trade should not expect Bramwell to be “the last word in distress”, with banks having announced their intentions to dispose of billions of pounds worth of non-performing loans, but remained confident that the pub sector is becoming “ever-more vibrant and stable” in terms of trading performance and market values.