Property slowdown

Savills and British Land take hit from market slide

Castlewell Ellon Barratt
A slower market has hit property company figures

Estate agency Savills and commercial landlord British Land warned investors that the property sector remains weak, though they expect the market to turn later in the year.

Ahead of its annual shareholder meeting Savills said its global capital transaction volumes for the year to date are at the lowest levels in a decade.

As a result of fewer deals, iot warned that the first half of 2023 compared to 2022 will be “materially impacted by the ongoing recalibration of global investment markets”.

However, the firm was more positive on the leasing market, which it said “remained more resilient across most sectors”, although it added that office take-up was “heavily skewed” to prime stock with strong sustainability credentials.

While residential volumes were also lower than 12 months ago, the group said prime residential markets had performed well, with a particular emphasis on the London market.

It will announce its half-year figures for the six months to 30 June on 10 August.

British Land said that it had significantly written down the value of its property portfolio after rises in interest rates.

“Higher interest rates have inevitably had an impact on property market yields and, as a result, the value of our portfolio declined by 12.3%,” it said. Shares in the firm were more than 6% lower on the announcement.

Some of these pressures appear to be easing and it was trying to create medium to long-term value, it said.

Purplebricks acquired

Troubled online estate agent Purplebricks has been sold to rival Strike, for the nominal sum of £1.

The firm, which was once valued at more than £800m, said the deal would transfer its liabilities to Strike which warned of job losses at Purplebricks.

Purplebricks has more than 750 employees. Its chief executive Helena Marston is set to resign after the sale completes, and a number of directors will also step down.

The company putt itself up for sale in February after revealing it expected to lose between £15 million and £20m this year.

It said last week that it was in exclusive talks with Strike.

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