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UK Shopping Centre Investment Grows Strongly

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Nick Hart  The Bullring  Australian Sovereign Wealth Fund  Shopping Centre Investment Market  Spitalfields Market 

UK Shopping Centre Investment Grows Strongly

By - Monday 22 July 2013

According to the latest data from Savills, investors put GBP 2.16 billion into UK shopping centres in the first half of this year, a 35 percent increase on last year according to the firm.

According to the report 12 investments were transacted in Q2, worth a total of GBP 743.85 million. These included the purchase by Hammerson and CPP of a 33 percent stake in The Bullring in Birmingham from the Australian Sovereign Wealth Fund for GBP 307 million with a net initial yield of 5.3 percent. 

Also up there was the Spitalfields Market in London bought from Ballymore for GBP 105 million. It is reported that Ashkenazy concluded the purchase in three days. The sale reflects a net initial yield of 4.2 percent, the report says.  

The shopping centre market is "a very global market, global sector," Nick Hart, director of U.K. and European shopping centre investment for Savills. "There's double the number of acquirements this year than the same time last year."

There is a "plethora" of demand for U.K. shopping centres, from U.K. REITS, U.K. institutions, U.K. property companies, and increasingly from opportunity and sovereign wealth funds, Mr. Hart said. 

On top of the sales a further 21 shopping centres worth GBP 578.2 million are currently under offer in the UK, and a further 23 are for sale totalling GBP 1.98 billion. Savills anticipates a further 20 shopping centres will enter the market later this year worth GBP 530 million.  

"The sector is so specialist, and there are so many nuisances and quirks," Mr. Hart said. "The opportunity at the moment is buying shopping centres in the dominant, stronger towns in the U.K."

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