More pubs could go up for sale as support is withdrawn in 2021, says agent

The Maldon Grey Pub in Sudbury.

This is what might be in store for the pub market in 2021. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A property agent who specialises in pubs has warned that more could go up for sale as support is withdrawn from the industry.

Simon Jackaman, who heads Fleurets team in East Anglia, has worked licensed properties for more than 30 years and believes that pubs could come rushing on to the market later this year as the Covid-19 support is withdrawn from the hospitality industry.

He said: "Obviously, all of the support will start to get withdrawn at some point. And then I suspect, and I'm not alone in this thinking, that we will start to see a lot of properties coming on the market.

Simon Jackaman of FleurettsPicture: JOE FAIRS

Simon Jackaman of Fleuretts - Credit: JOE FAIRS

"Whether it is people who might just be sitting now or who've already walked away from them, but there's,  little a landlord or or anybody can do about repossessing them and putting them on the market.

"I do think it will change over the coming months as support is withdrawn from the sector."

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In addition to this there has been an uptick in people wondering about turning pubs into homes.

"I am seeing more people inquiring about pubs, particularly since March, to look to convert to residential use," said Mr Jackaman.

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However, he warned "the current planning planning laws don't make that easy".

He said: "You've got to get viability reports, you've got to demonstrate that there's nobody out there that wants to buy the pub. So you might have to market it for six or 12 months.

"There is the possibility the government may be looking at loosening some of the planning laws, because there is the chance here that there could be many, many village pubs closed, and with no plans to reopen.

"Somebody has to do something with them. You can't just let them decay or fall into disrepair or attract squatters or vandalism."

Despite this gloomy outlook, Mr Jackaman said he has had a number of inquiries from people who are looking to become a landlord for the first time.

"I would say 70-80% of calls are from people seeking a fresh start career wise," he said.

"I'm marketing a pub at the moment and we only put it on the market at the beginning of December, but we've already had about five offers for it.

"And pretty much every one of them, with one exception, are people that have never done it before."

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