Retail vacancy rates have dropped to the lowest rate in four years.
According to the Local Data Company, the number of empty shops dropped in 2013 below 14%, but Matthew Hopkinson, director at the company, warned there was a stark north south divide.
In February's monthly Market Update he told EG: "London, the south east and the midlands are getting better but the north and north east are getting marginally worse,"
"This is about shops getting reoccupied, not being removed from stock so it is not some artificial mathematical number."
England and Scotland registered a very similar performance, but Wales was an outlier, explained Hopkinson, and dragged down the average, with a vacancy rate of 16%.
He added that the retail landscape has totally changed over the last five years with large centres providing the 'day out' experience and smaller centres coming to life again having found a niche with independents and convenience shopping.
Medium sized centres, such as Stockport and Wolverhampton, said Hopkinson 'have had a difficult time with a lot of stock to deal with a lot of retailers moving to the larger centres.'
Other sectors of the property market are also providing glimmers of hope for investors, with the private rented sector poised to take off.
James Mannix, partner at Knight Frank and head of its residential capital markets team said the sector was a 'sleeping giant'.
Mannix predicted two or three private landlords to be listed in the FTSE 100 within the next decade. "There are 800,000 units in the central London private rented sector market, if someone could accumulate just 1% of those then they'd have a market capitalization larger than the largest house builder."
Listen to the podcast below. The podcast can be also be downloaded by clicking here, or heading to Estates Gazette's iTunes channel.