Property data

Rents

Retail rental growth in February remains in negative territory for almost all retail segments. Rents for Standard Retail in the South-East, which declined more than any other segment in December has improved (from -1.0% to -0.2% in February). Despite the negative sentiment of increased vacancy and lower rental values in the capital, it could create opportunity for retailers looking to occupy stores in Central London, which may previously have been unaffordable for them.

Rental values on retail warehouses grew marginally in February (up +0.2% compared to January).

According to Remit Consulting retail rent collection, in the quarter to December 2021, had increased by 1.6% compared to the previous quarter reflecting ‘steady business confidence in this sector’ .

MONTHLY % CHANGE IN RENTS

Source: MSCI

Investment volumes

Retail investment volumes in 2022 were boosted by Nuveen’s £600m sale of Cheshire Oaks and the Swindon Designer Outlet to LaSalle Investment Management. Other recent deals include the sale of the Brewery Retail Park in Romford to The Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (SREF), in partnership with Zurich Investment Foundation Immobilien Europa Direkt for £162m and LaSalle’s £41m sale of Meole Brace Retail Park in Shrewsbury. Investors’ appetite for UK retail parks are expected to remain strong during 2022, following last years’ strong performance of volumes, totalling £3.3bn.

RETAIL INVESTMENT TRANSACTION VOLUMES

Source: Property Data

Vacancy rates

According to the latest figures from the Local Data Company, vacancy rates slightly improved from 14.5% to 14.4% in the second half of 2021. Retail Parks recorded the lowest rate vacancy, at 11.3% which is significantly lower than Shopping Centres (19.1%) and High Streets, (14.4%). London had the lowest vacancy rate, at 10.6% whilst the North-East recorded the highest rate, with over one in five shops vacant in the region.

There is some caution around the reduction of vacancy rates though as temporary pop-up stores (for Christmas trade) were included within the analysis. The net increase in the number of new independent stores totalled 2,157, which is in sharp contrast to the 10,059 chain store net closures during the period.

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