Our monthly property market review is intended to provide background to recent developments in the property markets as well as to give an indication of how some key issues could impact in the future.
COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION DECLINES AT THE START OF THE YEAR
The latest ‘IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index’, reports that commercial building work in the UK has fallen for two consecutive months, ending ten months of expansion. This tailing off in construction output was led by falling demand from businesses, forcing the reduction in civil engineering and commercial property work, negatively impacting the sector.
LIBERTY DEPARTMENT STORE ON THE MARKET
Liberty London, the retail landmark on Great Marlborough Street, founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875, has reportedly been put on the market. Private equity firm BlueGem, purchased the store in 2010 for £32m, refinancing it four years later, reducing its stake to 40%, allowing some investors to withdraw money, but nearly all reinvested in buying the department store for £165m.
UK COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT VOLUMES FALTER BUT REMAIN ABOVE THE THREE-YEAR AVERAGE
Savills’ recent ‘Market in Minutes’ review of UK commercial property, reveals that investment volumes reached £62.1bn in 2018, a decline of almost 6% (5.7%) year on year. Despite the decline, this does represent a rise on the three-year rolling average of £59.8bn. Considering the combination of ongoing political uncertainty and cooling of some global economics, Savills comment that this is ‘a strong message the UK real estate remains a liquid and desirable investment.’
- Gross mortgage lending across the residential market in January 2019 was £21.6bn
- This is 1.5% lower than January 2018 figures
- There were 25,100 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in January 2019
- This is a 4.6% increase on January 2018 data
HOUSE PRICES HEADLINE STATISTICS
- UK house prices grew by 1.7% in the year to January 2019
- This is the lowest annual growth for the UK since June 2013
- House price growth was strongest in Wales where prices increased by 4.6% in the year to January 2019