Northern powerhouse

Property investment in north-west doubles to almost £1bn

Commercial property market activity in the north-west has gone from strength to strength in recent years as investors recognise the value of some of the north’s key areas, and investment is now at a record high.

The first three months of 2018 saw investment volumes in the north-west soar to £965m according to a report from UK Investment Transactions, which is more than double the £440m achieved in the same quarter last year.

Labelled a “stellar start to the year”, two main deals led the boom after L&G bought the India Buildings in Liverpool for £125m and Aviva acquired 2 New Bailey in the rising area of Salford for £113m, providing a major boost to the figures.

The top investment in the north-west commercial property market was office space, which made up 41% of all transactions in the quarter, with the retail sector continuing to fall slightly behind, which is mirrored across the rest of the country as more retail business is done online.

Build-to-rent in the north-west

Build-to-rent also enjoyed a significant uplift in the north-west, boosted by a major deal to create 383 build-to-rent units in Liverpool, which was financed by forward-funding from Manchester Arena and Invesco. In both Liverpool and Manchester, the build-to-rent market has made major advances recently, and experts expect this trend to continue to grow.
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Ben Roberts, director of capital markets for Lambert Smith Hampton in the north-west, said: “The north-west has performed very strongly, particularly when compared with the national data, and we’re continuing to see a broad range of investors keen to invest into the region.

“The Q1 volumes are surprising given the recognised lack of stock and it is positive to see the north-west having such a stellar start to the year,” Roberts added. “However, with squeezed stock levels and downward pressure on yields, stock selection is becoming even more important. Most interestingly, the alternatives sector has attracted significant investment so far this year and this is set to continue.”

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