UK Shopping Centre Investment Hits 16-Year Low

The market for UK shopping centres has all but frozen up as buyers struggle to assign values to properties affected by troubled retailers restructuring their leases, the Financial Times reported. Just £20m of shopping centres changed hands in the first quarter of this year, according to data from CoStar, against a 10-year quarterly average of £783m. That was the weakest quarter since at least 2003 and “probably this century”, said Mark Stansfield, head of UK analytics at CoStar. Retail formed a core part of most real estate investors’ portfolios until the current downturn in the sector, which was prompted by retailers’ battles with higher costs and the transition to online sales. But properties, including retail parks and shopping centres, made up only 9 per cent of transactions by value in the first quarter — down from 12 per cent last year and about a third in the 2008-2011 period, CoStar said. Read more