Commercial Property Review – July 2023
The latest Knight Frank analysis of the UK hotel sector shows that transaction volumes were around £860m in H1 2023, 60% below investment volumes for the same period one year earlier.
There is a challenging environment in the UK, reflective of the macro-economic environment, with sluggish GDP growth. Some deals have completed, as experienced hotel investors both domestic and from overseas, as well as HNWIs and family-offices, account for 70% of transaction volumes. Market strength remains for quality hotels in prime locations, as well as for hotels with repositioning and value-add potential. During H1, overseas investors accounted for 41% of the transaction volume, originating from Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Looking forward, the report concludes, ‘The next six months should see more robust levels of investment activity, with several hotel deals known to be under offer. The level of activity though will depend on how much further tightening of monetary policy is required in the short-term. Interest rates will remain high over the medium term, as such, with no quick solutions to servicing the debt, lenders will be exerting greater pressure on their borrowers to calibrate debt covenants.’
Warehouse demand takes a tumble
New research from commercial property agent the CoStar Group has highlighted that for the first time, the number of firms choosing to withdraw from warehouse space has exceeded those occupying them.
Demand for UK warehouse space has fallen to its lowest point in 11 years, Director of Market Analytics at CoStar Group, Grant Lonsdale has deduced, “With cost-of-living pressures weighing on consumers, many online and bricks-and-mortar retailers, as well as the third-party logistics providers that service them, are re-evaluating their storage and distribution space requirements in a bid to optimise overheads.”
At the same time, the availability of larger warehouses has been increasing at pace and is currently at a seven-year high. Amongst those reducing their space are ASOS and Boohoo Group, with the former announcing the closure of three smaller warehouses earlier this year.
All details are correct at the time of writing (20 July 2023)
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