Strong start to 2022 for home counties pub market

By Amelie Maurice-Jones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Christie & Co: A promising start to the year for the home counties pub market
Christie & Co: A promising start to the year for the home counties pub market

Related tags: Property, Christie & co, Tenanted + leased, Pubco + head office, Multi-site pub operators

The year has kicked off to a strong start for the country pub market across the home counties, with business property adviser Christie & Co’s hospitality team completing on six individual pub sales across the region during March alone.

The adviser has seen a flurry of market activity in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire since January, with retirement being a key driver for sales.

Christie & Co said there were a good mix of buyers seeking opportunities outside of city-centres, a trend which has arisen from the pandemic, with first-time buyers, young operators, small expanding operators and couple teams in particular coming to the fore.

Since January, there have been a number of pub sales. These include large, leased pub the Baron Cadogan, Reading, Berkshire, which was sold to local restaurant Clays Kitchen who needed bigger premises.

Operators take to the bar

Furthermore, 19th​ century pub the Oxford Arms in Kirlington, Oxfordshire was purchased by a local operator expanding his portfolio with a third site. The existing operators ran the business for 30 years and decided to relocate to Scotland.

Hertfordshire-based 17th​ century pub the Kings Lodge in Hunton Bridge was sold due to retirement to an experienced operator heading back into the industry after a long break. Furthermore, thatched pub the Lamb in Little Milton, South Oxfordshire, was purchased by a young couple who left city jobs to fulfil their long-standing dream of buying a pub.

Also, the Horse and Jockey in Ravensden, Bedfordshire, a venue with a large beer garden, was sold to an existing operator looking to expand his portfolio. 16th​ century inn the Coach and Horses in Chiselhampton, south Oxfordshire was sold to Barkby Pub company, and is set to reopen shortly after a refurb.

Confidence returns to sector

These six deals were brokered by Tim Widdows, business agent in Christie & Co’s south hospitality team.

Widdows commented: “We are seeing lots of encouraging signs in the market at the moment which indicate confidence is returning to the sector. There is a broad range of operators buying across the home counties, from first time buyers to expanding pub groups and investors.

“It’s particularly satisfying seeing the return of young, first-time operators buying pubs to run, pursuing their dreams to create fantastic and memorable hospitality businesses.

“The industry has shown tremendous resilience over the past two years and the British public has returned the favour by showing its support. We are very optimistic about the market in the year ahead.”

Related topics: Property law

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