Business Rates: Assessing the impact of the 2023 revaluation

Key findings & recommendations

England

  • Avison Young is predicting that the total Rateable Value (RV) pool in England will fall 1.2% from £67.5 billion in 2017, to £66.6 billion in 2023.
  • On the initial publication of the report (Oct 2022) Avison Young was expecting the English Uniform Business Rate (UBR) to rise from 49.9p (2022/2023) to 50.7p. However, following inflationary pressure in the UK economy the Government has changed CPI inflation projections to 7%+ at September 2022 (the month used to set the proceeding years UBR). In the circumstances our UBR estimate has been upgraded to 52.5p from April 2023.
  • These calculations reflect the Chancellor's decision to freeze the inflationary increase applied to calculate the 22/23 UBR.
  • The biggest increases will be in the industrial sector, in particular logistics, with values increasing by 23.2% across England.
  • Retail will see dramatic falls in rateable values, fuelled by the growth of online sales and the resultant decline of traditional retail. However, strong variations between the retail sub-sectors (high street, retail parks and supermarkets) can be seen. Overall, the decline for retail businesses across England averages 25.7%.
  • The office sector is showing limited growth between the two revaluations. A minimal uplift of 4.3% nationally is expected. Growth was strong until the end of 2019; however, this has fallen back as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wales

  • Wales is expected to see its RV pool fall 6.6% from £2.532 billion in the 2017 list to £2.365 billion in the 2023 list.
  • As a result, Avison Young predicts the UBR for Wales will increase quite starkly from 53.5p in 2022/23 to around 59.6p at the start of the new rating list. The extent of the UBR increase is driven by the forecast CPI inflation rate forecast to grow by the Government to 7%+ at September 2022 (the month which sets the inflationary uplift in the UBR for the following April).
  • Trends in Wales broadly mirror those in England, with strongest growth in the industrial/logistics sector (+13%), followed by offices (+9%). In contrast, the retail sector has plummeted, falling around 29%.
  • Despite showing similar trends to England, the impact on the Welsh UBR is more evident due to the much smaller representation of the relatively well-performing office sector (15%) in the total rateable value pool. Retail on the other hand performed very poorly. We estimate that retail will move from comprising 36% of the Welsh 2017 rateable value pool to just 26% in the 2023 revaluation.

NHS Healthcare

NHS Healthcare rateable values will see some of the largest increases in 2023. The increase in construction costs between 2015 and 2021 has been significant, fuelled by supply and labour shortages as a result of Covid-19 and Brexit.

Whilst we expect this to be tempered by a reduction in the statutory decapitalisation rates, we still anticipate an overall average increase in rateable values in excess of 20%.

This research paper has been prepared on the assumption that there will be a 2023 revaluation, based on values derived from an Antecedent Valuation Date (AVD) of 1st April 2021.