Q2 dip

Property deals fall amid hope of better second half

Big deal: 1 West Regent Street

Investment in commercial property fell 15% in the second quarter as sentiment cooled ahead of the general election and amid uncertainty over the timing of interest rate cuts.

Lismore Real Estate Advisors said transaction volumes totalled £272 million, down 15% on the same three months last year and were 31% below the five-year average.

However, Lismore director Chris Macfarlane said there were signs of the market picking up and that interest rate cuts, forecast for the autumn, would lift sentiment.

“Despite a slower than anticipated quarter, buyer-seller standoffs are easing, with increased buyer activity and momentum improving,” he said.

“Fund activity remains selective and quite opportunistic, focusing on living and logistics sectors, with retail warehousing gaining interest.

“Core-plus buyers may benefit from potential interest rate reductions, whilst private equity shows interest in pressured sales and good-value, long-leased stock, indicating less distress than expected and expanding their investment scope.

“We anticipate that the expected interest rate cuts by autumn may improve debt terms, although development continues to be hindered by stubbornly high build costs and uncertain exit pricing.

“Amid the General Election, we hope the victor fosters optimism, creating a business-friendly environment for sustained economic growth. Effective governance is crucial for job creation, economic prosperity, and social well-being.

“Change brings opportunity. Let’s hope for competent leadership to drive our future forward.”

The largest deal in the quarter was the £45.8m acquisition of 1 West Regent Street in Glasgow, by Corum Asset Management, followed by Remake Assetm Management’s £36.6m acquisition of 2 Greenmarket in Dundee and 4 Pacific Quay in Glasgow, let to BT and STV respectively from LondonMetric.

Other noteworthy transactions included Ropemaker Properties £14.7m sale of four prime industrial units at Fullarton Drive in Cambuslang to clients of Ediston and the £23.5m off-market sale of Malmaison at St Andrew Square in Edinburgh by Associated British Foods to clients of Patrizia.

Logistics and multi-let industrials continue to see strong demand, with prime yields around 6%. Office yields are improving, while retail parks offer compelling value with 6.5-7% yields.

High street properties in prime locations and living sector investments remain attractive and prime Build to Rent and Purpose Built Student Accommodation yields are stable at 5-5.5%.

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