During the past five years, the percentage of freeholds sold for continued pub use has consistently been about 50%, however, during the past three years, the percentage nationally has been increasing, with continued pub use rising to more than 56% in 2014.
Fleurets’ annual Survey of Pub Sales does show regional variation with almost two thirds (64%) of sales in the south remaining as pubs, compared to 50% in the north — reflecting greater confidence in the trading potential and continued viability of pub use in the south of the country.
For pubs sold for alternative use, the most common use is residential. The percentage being converted to housing of some sort has increased for the third consecutive year, accounting for 60% of alternative use sales in 2014.
Alongside this is a reduction in the percentage sold for restaurant use and an increase in the percentage sold for convenience stores and for B&B/hotel use.
The average sale price of freehold pubs sold for continued use has been higher than the average achieved for those sold for alternative use in four out of the past five years. Last year, the average sale price nationally was 3.2% higher.
In 2014, Fleurets sold 11 pubs that were registered as assets of community value (ACV), which impose restrictions on the sale. Fleurets said, of this sample, one additional pub was saved as a direct result of the ACV.
“However, our experience to date suggests there is a risk that an ACV listing could be counter-productive given that three other sales lost a buyer for pub use and almost resulted in the properties being sold for alternative use,” it said.
End use of freehold pubs sold in 2014
Pub Use %
Alt Use %
View the full report here.