Maybe I am breaking ranks here but to me the problems in the commercial property area may not be all that Brexit-related.
True, the devaluation of the pound has made many imported goods more expensive but additionally, and over a longer timeframe we have had a decade long decline in real wages starting from the financial crisis and then worsened by Tory austerity. These two factors in combination will have hit retailers’ profit margins and consequently their abilty to maintain rental payments agreed in more prosperous times.
To return to an earlier theme, there is no doubt that online retailers are also impacting on traditional retailers by taking a big slice of their sales with lower physical and staffing overheads and, not least, with tax advantages by being headquartered in low tax countries such as Ireland and Luxembourg.
In a trading environment where profit is made on narrow margins it is easy to see how takings are being sucked out of Manchester Arndale and the like and into the welcoming arms of Amazon.
The suppression of wages through Tory austerity and the tax avoidance of companies like Amazon has caused serious problems for the balance of our economy and for employment opportunities. The building and running of Amazon warehouses results in a net loss of jobs once we take account of the closure of all those department stores who have been driven out of business. This is not a Luddite analysis, it is an economic reality.
Frog in a tree