Offices are starting to strengthen, and reduced supply is making even retail more attractive – as value emerges, it’s time to get back in the game.
The UK quoted property sector and indeed much of the direct property market has not had the greatest start to the year. Mitigating circumstances of course, but the quoted sector is playing little part in the reflation trade for the moment and the direct market has been much quieter than many anticipated – especially the key London office market, for both letting and investment.
Nonetheless I remain upbeat for the prospects this calendar year. For the moment the ‘defensives’ are just about winning out. In the last issue of the Property Chronicle I continued with my ‘beds, meds and sheds’ theme, and while the first two categories might not make you much money, they still won’t lose you much either; dividends are safe and growing. Sheds remain very strong for obvious reasons, with healthy investment demand; more stock appears to be coming to market but rental growth is still respectable, more so for last mile than big box, though.
Just over 20 years ago I was sitting at my desk at the Wharf pondering lunch (it was a Friday), but more relevantly the dot-com boom was beginning to fall apart. Nonetheless colleagues who followed that sector were still bullish, and we awaited the noon release of figures for Cap Gemini, traded on the Paris Bourse and a major dot-com beneficiary in share price terms. Whoops – the numbers were way below expectation, the stock went limit down in the blink of an eye, and the salesman responsible for said stock announced that the profits disappointment gave investors “a whole new lower entry point”. Needless to say the shares have never revisited the 11.59am price they enjoyed that day.