“Buyers’ confidence and cash reserves generate tremendous competition in the auction room, delivering some outstanding prices”
Buyers are still keen to invest in retail, which accounts for 71% of all sales, despite the ongoing pressure on rents and tenant demand.
Clearly this risk is rewarded with increased yields in some areas and this has been a year where sellers have had to adjust their expectations to the market.
Tenant profile, sub sector and trading history are all important factors as is the quantum of rent along with more conventional ITZA measurements. The yield gap on retail has become wider during the year as a result.
We have seen the strongest growth in office sales, the volumes have tripled year on year which reflects buyers’ hunt for yield and rental growth.
Alternatives have also seen a 35% increase by value, and this is only limited by supply. Leases are typically longer with fixed or geared increases which particularly appeal as buyers seek to diversify their portfolios.
As we talk to investors there is no lack of demand for long let income.
National coverage has always been, and remains a by-word of our auctions, allowing sellers the opportunity to break portfolios across the UK.
By ratio of volume the 50% London and South East to 50% in the region remains constant with other significant regional changes.
Sales in the north have increased by over 60% by value and 25% by volume, the biggest change, as buyers seek greater yield away from London and the South East.
Our Buyers tell us that they are happy to buy outside the region where they live and are driven mostly by the asset, allowing them to build a portfolio diversified by geography as well as sector.
Our sample size of 648 transactions is the largest in the market, and retail sales form the majority of this with 460 examples. This gives us a good insight into investors’ view on the risk/reward curve.
Of the main themes from the year, the stability of the overall retail yield is a little over 8% despite the ever higher path of the “Hi yielding” sector.
The better quality properties are more sought after and in short supply which drives their value higher, countering the effect of the high yielding sales. Some of the poorer quality properties require substantial repositioning or redevelopment which is reflected in the yield paid and capital values.
A Grade yields dipped well below 6% for the first time in eighteen months, reflecting this increasing disparity.