Since Roman times the Gloucestershire market town of Cirencester has been attracting visitors with its honey-coloured buildings and picture-postcard scenery
David Watson, a director at the Cirencester office of property agents Colliers Robert Barry, says that the market for operators in the Cotswolds capital is "extremely steady", with almost year-round tourism, both domestic and international. This makes running a hospitality business in the town "almost foolproof". The two main problems are the premium prices and the supply of properties.
Watson, who describes the local market as "very bullish", says that within Cirencester itself there's never much on the market. A lot of the freeholds are owned by corporates and what does become available gets a lot of interest, often resulting in properties selling for more than the asking price.
"I think more people are considering selling now, but they're still not deciding," says Watson. "Those that get in tend to stay in."
There's certainly not much available at the lower end of the market, which for freehold properties is £350,000-£400,000. Even leases sell for a premium, with good ones fetching more than £100,000. And the ever-popular Cotswold B&Bs tend to go for about £500,000 for properties with 6-7 bedrooms. For anything less than that, they tend to be worth more as a residential property.
For those priced out of the local market, Watson advises taking a look at properties over the Welsh border.
Although the town is well catered for on the restaurant side, Watson says there's always a high level of demand from potential buyers. The hot spot for restaurants is Castle Street, although because the centre is so compact and a lot of the sites are well established, location isn't that much of an issue.