UK Commercial:

West End Investment Watch

West End Investment Watch
West End Investment Watch

13 April 2017, words by David Garland

Healthy turnover maintained despite supply shortage

■ March saw volumes of £558m over 10 deals, bringing Q1 2017 turnover to £1.89bn over 22 transactions. This was the second largest Q1 turnover figure ever and 30% in excess of the five-year Q1 average (see Graph 1). The average deal size for Q1 was £86m, a new quarterly record, smashing the previous high by 45%.

 

GRAPH 1

Q1 Turnover & Average deal size

 
Graph 1

Source: Savills Research

■ On behalf of AXA Investment Managers, Savills acquired the Warwick Building in Kensington Village for £56.6m, reflecting a 5.19% net initial yield and a capital value of £712 per sq ft. The former Victorian warehouse totals 79,506 sq ft of office accommodation, single let to PG Media Services Limited until March 2021 at a passing rent equating to £39.90 per sq ft overall. The investment carries several asset management opportunities including additional massing through a variation of the consent previously established for residential use.

■ Derwent London has agreed a conditional put and call option to sell 8 Fitzroy Street to Arup Group, for £197m. The Freehold property totals 147,900 sq ft and is single to let to Arup at a rent of £7.2m subject to annual stepped increases until 2021 and then an upward only open market rent review. The price reflects a net initial yield of 3.4% and a capital value of £1,332 per sq ft. Completion is due in June this year.

■ In an active month for Arup, the Group has sold 13-17 Fitzroy Street to Workspace for £98.5m, reflecting a net initial yield of 4.6% and a capital value of £1,063 per sq ft. The property totals 92,700 sq ft over eight floors and is single let to Arup Group until September 2022 at an annual rent of £4.9m rising to £6.0m in March 2021, reflecting almost £65 per sq ft. Arup, as part of its wider strategy as touched on above, is relocating from the building and the lease provides for the early exit with effect from September 2020 with a rolling nine-month break option. In due course, Workspace will look to reposition the asset as a multi-let business centre.

■ We are yet to record a UK institution purchase this year whilst they have made up almost 40% of sales. We anticipate UK Institutions will continue to be net disinvestors as long as current market conditions prevail. Asian investors made up almost 50% of turnover this quarter, up 64% year on year.

■ Savills prime yield remains at 3.25%. The IPD average equivalent yield stays at 4.8% whilst the IPD net initial yield has moved out marginally to 3.26% over the course of the month (see Graph 2).

GRAPH 2

West End yields

 
Graph 2

Source: Savills Research, IPD

TABLE 1

Key Deals in March 2017

 
Table 1
 
 

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David Garland

David Garland

Research Analyst
Commercial Research

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 7016 3832