Convenience store property prices have started to bounce back after a year in decline.

According to the latest Christie & Co Business Outlook, average property prices increased by 2.1% in 2010, compared with a decline of 9.8% in 2009.

Christie & Co head of retail Tony Evans said the growth was down to the sector bucking the recent economic trends. "The resilience shown by the UK's convenience retail sector over the previous few years was very much in evidence again in 2010," he said. "Despite reductions in disposable income, UK consumers continued to favour convenience shopping because it suited their busy lifestyles."

Evans said that sales of convenience stores had increased in the past 12 months, with retailers taking advantage of the fall in average prices that took place in 2009. "Although convenience store transactional activity in 2010 remained relatively restrained, the number of deals increased slightly compared with 2009," he said.

"Retailers also continued to show a healthy interest in pub sites designated for alternative use, especially with the closure of community-led pubs creating opportunities."

He added that competition in the sector would heighten as multiples stepped up their assault on the convenience store channel and independent retailers continued to grow their estates.

"We believe that 2011 will see increased competition from major multiples in the c-store sector, while smaller independents are likely to try to increase the size of their stores to compete with supermarket convenience brands," said Evans.

He added: "Post Office businesses continued to attract buyers in 2010, and Christie & Co saw a 20% increase in the number of post offices sold compared with 2009."

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