Strong UK commercial property market demonstrates resilience in first quarter

Strong UK commercial property market demonstrates resilience in first quarter

The latest CBRE monthly index highlighted a capital property value growth of 0.3%, with outer London offices claiming the strongest growth at 0.6%.

Despite rental values increasing by just 0.1%, Miles Gibson, Head of UK Research at CBRE, remains upbeat by stating that “following a positive end to a turbulent 2016, January saw a relatively solid start to 2017, with industrials starting to lead the way”.

‘Cautious Optimism’ for the UK Commercial Property Market in 2017

The start to 2017 has divided industry analysts, with capital increase providing the promise that rental income growth and sales volume do not. Peel Hunt analysts upgraded many of their net asset value forecasts representing capital value recovery, whereas Cushman & Wakefield made a point of deal completion being at a significant low since the EU referendum.

Peel Hunt stated that “physical real estate prices have held up stronger than many expected, with IPD showing an overall valuation decline of 3% since June, and even in London valuations are only down by around 4% so far”. They added that “encouragingly, IPD has also now posted valuation rises in each of the last three months”.

Cushman & Wakefield followed the progress of 300 commercial properties that were on the market with a value of £14bn at the time of the EU referendum. The results show little movement on pricing, with an average discount-to-offer price of 3%.

54% properties were sold as of mid-January, with 21% under offer and the remaining 25% had fallen through, which Cushman & Wakefield believe would have been a much lower 10% in usual market circumstances.

Appointing your letting agent: A commercial approach

Andrew Gibson of Cushman & Wakefield believes prime product yields are back to pre-Brexit levels, and that “the recovery of pricing in the investment market has been far swifter than many commentators anticipated”.

So, whilst sales may be sluggish, the fact that valuations remain strong reflects a resilient performance from UK property in what promised to be a tough time for the market.

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