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UK Shopping Centre Transaction Volume Doubles

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UK retail assets  Charlie Barke  Centre MK 

UK Shopping Centre Transaction Volume Doubles

By - Friday 21 June 2013

Some GBP 1.928 billion worth of shopping centre transactions were carried out in the first half of 2013 according to the latest data from Cushman & Wakefield. This is more than twice the figure recorded for the same period last year, when GBP 808 million worth of shopping centre sales were transacted.

The whopping total was made up of 9 transactions, the pinnacle of which was the asset exchange conducted by Hermes and M&G Real Estate in the second quarter. The swap saw M&G acquire the Friary in Guildford, and in return Hermes obtained full control of the centre:mk in Milton Keynes as M&G relinquished its 26 percent share in the centre according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Pears' GBP 31.2 million purchase of The Spires, Barnet from UBS and LaSalle's purchase of Church Square, St Helens, for GBP 27.7 million from the ING Britannica Portfolio were also major transactions in the total.

Demand for prime projects remains high and is outweighing supply, driving yields down from 5.5 percent at the end of 2012 to 5 percent, Cushman & Wakefield reports. The firm expects investor activity to increase in the second half of 2013.

"Investment demand is encouragingly strong and we are seeing investors from all over the world wanting to acquire UK retail assets," Charlie Barke, head of shopping centre investment at Cushman & Wakefield, said in a release. "There is a growing belief that the sector has reached the bottom and now offers decent recovery prospects."

There are currently 20 projects under offer with a combined value of GBP 1.012 billion.

Secondary markets are also reporting strong demand, creating competitive bidding, with high yields expected in the next six months, the firm said.  

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