Fears of dramatic swings in the property market following the implementation of the smoking ban are unfounded, experts said this week.
Despite concerns that properties without outdoor spaces for smokers will plummet in value while those with beer gardens soar, experts predict that the impact of the ban will be largely short-term.
Trevor Shelley, senior partner at Shelley Sandzer, anticipated an immediate - but short-lived - drop in property values as some consumers rebelled, then adjusted to the new rules.
Colin Wellstead, a director at Christie & Co, concurred. "I don't expect sudden increases or decreases in value due to the change in legislation," he said.
Not surprisingly, experts predicted wet-led pubs, particularly those in town centres without outdoor space or in regions where smoking is more prevalent, would take the biggest hit in business.
On the flip side, Greig Thewlis from law firm Halliwells predicted venues with outside spaces would attract increased prices and rents as their desirability grew.
However, others reckoned such venues already benefited from the warmer summers and questioned whether there was much extra trade to be won from displaced smokers.
By Jessica Gunn
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