British Land upbeat on rent collection, retail parks' sales "outperforming"
There was more upbeat news from British Land on rent collections and performance from its malls, which includes giants Meadowhall and Broadgate, plus retail parks, on Tuesday.
First, the latest quarter rent payments to 24 June. It saw 85% of June rents owed being collected to date with Retail standing at 71% (albeit way behind Offices at 99%). But at least it was 24% ahead of rent collection at the same point for the December quarter and 17% ahead of the same point for the March quarter.
It also said March rent collection now stands at 91% overall (99% in Offices and 85% in Retail).
And performance? Across its Retail portfolio, footfall and sales hit 86% and 94% of pre-pandemic levels in the seven weeks since the reopening of indoor hospitality on 17 May. “That means those who turn up are spending more”, it said, noting that Jewellery, Accessories, Childrenswear, Furniture, Homewares also “demonstrated good growth compared to pre-pandemic levels”.
But it was its Retail Parks, which represent 53% of its total assets, where performance particularly shone. Footfall and sales here reached 96% and 99% of pre-pandemic levels and were “continuing to clearly outperform”. It added that there are “indications that retail park values are rising, with those assets valued quarterly up 0.7% for the quarter to June”.
Since 1 April, British Land has let 38,000 square feet of space (deals over one year) in its retail parks, “and we have a strong pipeline of deals under offer”, it noted.
And as for those retail parks, it added: “We continue to see a value opportunity, reflecting current market yields and a more stable occupational market, driven by affordability and stronger demand from retailers who recognise the important role retail parks can play in supporting their omnichannel strategy”.
For the future, there are plans to develop its £82 million purchase of Thurrock Shopping Park, situated just off the M25, featuring “strong logistics development potential”.
Simon Carter, CEO British Land said: “On our retail parks, footfall and sales are close to pre-pandemic levels, rents are stabilising and there are indications that retail park values are starting to rise as more investors target the market.”
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