YORKSHIRE’S commercial property scene is picking up, a survey has revealed.
The total value of commercial property investment transactions across Yorkshire rose to £306.5m in the three months to the end of September from £107.2m in the previous quarter, according to the latest figures from national commercial property firm Lambert Smith Hampton.
However, the survey said the third quarter figure was still below the total of £412m for the same quarter of 2010.
The most significant deals to take place during the quarter included Orion Capital Managers’ acquisition of 50% stake in White Rose office Park in Leeds for £130m, F&C REIT Asset Management Ltd’s acquisition of Cheapside Shopping Centre in Barnsley for £26m and RREEF’s acquisition of Lateral, City Walk in Leeds, for £24.3m.
Of the total value of transactions, UK institutions committed £96.4m during the quarter, accounting for almost one third of the total activity, compared with 64% from the second quarter of 2011.
The industrial sector, which accounted for 57.5% of total market in the second quarter, fell sharply to 1% and gave way to the office sector, which comprised a staggering 55% of the total market.
Retail remained stable at 39%.
Graham Foxton, surveyor with LSH’s Yorkshire investment team, said: “The deals mentioned above show that investors have an appetite for the right product and are willing to invest in our region when the opportunities are available.
“They continue to seek the security of long-term income and prime properties in Yorkshire.
“The secondary market continues to be challenging as purchasers and lenders remain risk averse.
“London and the South East markets continued to be dominant in terms of total transactions. However, this can but put down to the availability of good quality investment stock.”
Focusing on the UK as a whole, investors bucked market sentiment in the third quarter by with transactions totalling £8.06bn – some 22% up on the previous quarter – in what is typically the quietest quarter of the year.
LSH chief executive Ezra Nahome said: “Commercial property continues to provide attractive returns to investors in comparison to other asset classes and following the Bank of England’s second round of quantitative easing, which will support continued low-finance costs and stimulate interest in the market, we could witness increased investment activity over the coming 12 months.
“The number of deals completed in the regions was half the amount completed in the second quarter.
“Yet closer examination shows that the volume of money invested remained the same quarter on quarter, clearly demonstrating that investors are focused on quality over quantity in the regions.”