Monday, October 26, 2009

A Little Good News for Retail CRE in Britain

by Calculated Risk on 10/26/2009 10:14:00 PM

From The Times: Land Securities calls halt to softer retail rent deals as demand rises

Francis Salway, the chief executive of Land Securities [Britain’s biggest property developer], said that he would no longer offer rental deals amid signs of increasing demand for space. ... "[W]e do not believe across-the-board changes to agreed contracts are appropriate.”
A spokesman for British Land, the UK’s second-biggest property company, said: "British Land is seeing more demand from new and existing tenants. ..."
Rents might fall further - because of high vacancy rates - but it seems there is some increase in demand, and Land Securities is no longer willing to offer across-the-board concessions to existing contracts (but they will cut deals in special cases).

Of course the "good news" is relative ... the retail vacancy rate in the U.K. is up significantly from last year - From RetailWeek: Vacancy rates almost treble
Vacant shops on the UK high street have almost trebled in the last year from just over 4 per cent to 12 per cent at the end of June.

Big cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and Derby are now suffering over 20 per cent vacancy rates ...