UK Commercial Property
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Online risks to retail may not be as bad as once feared

By any standard, retail property has had a torrid time during the pandemic. The latest data on online sales look like further bad news, with the share of spending much higher than expected after lockdowns. But the recovery in consumer demand has also been stronger and is likely to offset any negative consequences.
Andrew Burrell Chief Property Economist
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UK Commercial Property Chart Book

Annual property returns hit a seven-year high

Commercial property ended last year strongly. Annual rental growth climbed to a five-year high, while annual total returns crossed the 20% level. This was largely the result of dynamism in industrial, though all sectors saw positive annual returns, even retail. But we think it will be a struggle to repeat this stellar performance in 2022, as economic headwinds and structural changes weigh on rental growth and the scope for further yield reductions reduces. As a result, we expect returns to be significantly lower in 2022.

21 January 2022

UK Commercial Property Update

Industrial yield falls set to slow

The industrial sector had its best year in over three decades in 2021 as demand soared and supply struggled to keep up. Although we expect the sector to perform well again this year, we don’t think that yields can continue to fall at the rate seen in 2021.

20 January 2022

UK Commercial Property Update

Which assets can provide the best inflation protection?

Recent data have reinforced concerns about inflation risks in the UK. We remain of the view that property investments provide only limited long-term protection against higher prices, but of the individual asset types, we think industrial and residential are best placed to weather any surge. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this UK Commercial Property Update to clients of our UK Housing Service.

14 January 2022

More from Andrew Burrell

UK Commercial Property Update

Will COVID-19 shift real estate out of town?

With workers spending more time away from city centres, some expected that out-of-town offices could swing back into fashion. It is still early, but from the UK data, the evidence suggests that it is suburban retail, not offices, that is benefiting most from the home-working revolution.

15 October 2021

UK Commercial Property Update

What do the latest UK jobs data tell us?

UK employment has recovered strongly in recent quarters and is set to see further growth into 2022. This will be good news for UK offices, especially in regional cities. But with occupiers set to look beyond headcount when making their space decisions, we don’t think it will bring a turnaround in the sector.

7 October 2021

UK Commercial Property Update

Property markets to take early rate hike in their stride

With UK policy rates now set to rise as early as next spring, this has tipped the risks to our commercial property outlook to the downside. But we don’t think the change is significant enough to make a wholesale downgrade to our view.

30 September 2021
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