July UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July

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1 July 2014 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July

2 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July UK COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MARKETS REVIEW: JULY 2014 ECONOMIC OVERVIEW Growth The Office for National Statistics is expected to announce that the UK economy expanded by 0.8% in the second quarter of this year. This would mark the seventh quarter in a row that GDP has increased and in doing so will surpass the pre-recession peak in From peak to trough GDP fell 7% from 392 billion to 365 billion, the second steepest fall in the G7. Over the last 12 months the pound has strengthened quite significantly against the Euro, rising from 1.16 in July 2013 to 1.26 as of 21 st July. However, research from Morgan Stanley suggests that Scottish Independence could devalue sterling by as much as 10%, potentially delaying a Bank Rate rise before the general election next spring. A yes vote could impact on the trade balance in Britain and create a more open economy leaving the UK more vulnerable to volatile changes in the wider market. British businesses are more confident about future profits than in any other advanced economy, indicating growing confidence of a sustained economic recovery despite the persistent struggles occurring in the Eurozone. However, the survey from Markit shows confidence has cooled since the start of this year as a result of the pound strengthening and the general election growing closer. On a regional basis business confidence in London reached a five month low while across the UK confidence dropped to a three month low reading of 58, but still comfortably ahead of the 50 mark differentiating between growth and contraction. Confidence in the North East reached a record high reading of 64.8, 6.8 above the UK average. The Treasury s panel of independent forecasters have held their GDP forecast for this year at 3.0%, but have upgraded next year s forecast from 2.5% to 2.6%. Figure 1: GDP growth outlook (as at July 2014) 4% 3% 3% 2% 2% 1% 1% 3.00% 2.60% 2.40% 2.40% 2.40% 0% GDP growth CPI inflation Source: Treasury forecast panel

3 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July Inflation & interest rates Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) increased by 1.9% in the year to June, up from 1.5% in May, bringing the rate more in line with the Bank of England s long-term goal of inflation hovering around the 2% mark. The largest contributions to the rise in the rate came from clothing, air transport and food and non-alcoholic sectors. There were no significant downward contributions to the rate last month. The Treasury s panel of independent forecasters have revised down their forecast for CPI this year from 1.9% to 1.7%, along with a 0.1 point revision for next year from 2.1% to 2.0%. Rumours still persist that a Bank Rate rise from 0.5% could occur this year as three month LIBOR rates nudged up from 0.55% in June to 0.56% in July. Five year swap rates have fallen back to 2.03% having reached 2.11% last month, dropping back to the same figure as at the end of Employment and earnings growth Employment figures continue to make good reading for the coalition as they improve once again with unemployment falling, following the general trend of the last two years. In the three months to May there were million in work, up by a quarter of a million from the three months to February and by 929,000 from a year earlier. The employment rate now stands at 73.1% which is the joint highest rating since records began in Unemployment dropped to 6.5% in the period March to May, the lowest reading since the last quarter of RESIDENTIAL MARKET Sales The latest house price index from the Land Registry shows a further acceleration in annual house price growth across England and Wales, although on a monthly basis price growth has slowed down particularly in northern regions. In the year to May house prices grew 6.7% in May to an average of 172,035, while prices edged up 0.4% from April. London recorded the highest monthly and annual price growth with increases of 2.5% and 18.5% respectively, taking the average price in the capital to 439,719. Both the South East and East saw prices increase by 8.4% in the year to May, being driven in part by buyers moving out of London looking for more value for money. Elsewhere, the East Midlands saw a 6.5% uplift followed by a 4.7% increase in the South West. In the North and Wales house price growth was much lower as prices picked up just 0.9% in the North East, only slightly bettered by growth of 1.3% in the North West. Meanwhile, the three most northerly regions along with the West Midlands and Wales all saw house prices fall on a monthly basis. Figure 2: Average house price, monthly and annual change across England & Wales (May 2014)

4 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July , , , , , , , , ,000 50, % 18% 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% -2% Average price Monthly change Annual change Source: Land Registry House prices moved up 1% in June across England and Wales according to the Nationwide house price index, with prices growing 11.8% from June 2013 to an average of 188,903, surpassing the previous peak of The index from the Halifax paints a different picture as prices fell back 0.6% from May and increased by 8.8% in the year to June, as new buyer enquiries dropped for the sixth consecutive month. Mortgage lending data for May from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows 57,900 loans were advanced for home-owner house purchase, up 13% on an annual basis. At a value of 9.6 billion this represents a 25% increase on the previous year. A total of 26,800 loans were advanced to first time buyers at a value of 3.9 billion, up 19% and 30% respectively on May Lenders advanced 31,100 loans to home movers in May, 9% more than in the same month a year earlier. At a value of 5.7 billion the value of home mover lending increased by just over a fifth from a year earlier. Re-mortgaging recorded a significant fall in May down 25% on May 2013 to 21,600. As a result the value of loans dropped 15% from a year ago to 3.3 billion. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has reported a noticeable slowdown in first time buyers in June, with sales falling 20% from May. The struggles are particularly apparent in the years old age bracket which accounted for just 3% of first time buyer sales last month, the lowest reading since the NAEA started tracking sales. The fall in first time buyers could be a result of the Mortgage Market Review, introduced in April, starting to impact on the mortgage market, along with the recent announcement from the Bank of England limiting the number of mortgages above 4.5 times borrowers income. House price growth in London appears to be moving away from prime central London and into the popular zones three and four. For the third month in a row house prices in Waltham Forest increased at a faster pace than any other borough in the capital, up a startling 26.3% in the year to May. House prices in Lambeth also increased by more than a quarter over the same period with Southwark, Hackney and Wandsworth all saw growth above 20%. In prime central London house prices in Westminster increased by 18% followed by 14.5% in Kensington and Chelsea, which remains the only borough where the average house price is above 1 million. Figure 3: Average price and annual house price growth: Top 10 London boroughs (May 2014)

5 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July , , , , , , , % 26% 24% 22% 20% 18% 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% Average price Monthly change Annual change Source: Land Registry Lettings The average rent across the UK increased by 7.5% in the year to May to an average of 846pcm. Furthermore, in the three months to May the average rent was 6.1% higher than the same period a year ago. At a regional level four of the 10 regions across England and Wales recorded a fall in average monthly rental values, the largest fall occurring in the East Midlands where the average monthly rent fell back 2.0% on April. Conversely, in East Anglia the average rent increased by 6.5% from April and the region also recorded the most significant annual increase, up 10.7% on a year ago to 758pcm. London followed in second place with growth of 9.4% to an average of 1,348pcm in the year to May despite rental values remaining flat during May. Figure 4: Average monthly rent and monthly and annual change (as at May 2014) 1,600 1,400 1,200 1, % 10% 5% 0% -5% -10% Average rent (pcm) Monthly change Annual change Source: Homelet

6 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July Void periods on rental property across the UK remain on a downward trend with lender Paragon Mortgages reporting landlords have seen a further fall in the length of void periods, down to 2.7 weeks. The recent fall brings the average void time down to the same level as in 2012 with demand for rental property ensuring that the gap between previous and new tenants is small. Over the twelve years that the survey has been carried out the average void period has hovered between 2.6 and 3 weeks, with the lowest reading of 2.5 weeks recorded back in OFFICE MARKET IPD figures reveal that annual capital growth on office property on a national level continues to outperform its counterparts, reaching 16.30% in June and now standing 2.35 above the previous peak in the market. The result of such robust annual growth is that initial and equivalent yields have started to fall but both remain relatively healthy at an average of 5.05% and 6.90% respectively. Meanwhile, rental growth is also accelerating and reached 5.53% last month up from 4.82% in May. As a result rental growth on office property is now 3.04 below the last high point in the sector. In the second quarter of this year take-up levels in central London increased while availability saw a fall in office space. At a sub-market level three of the five locations saw take-up levels moved up between April and June, with Southbank and Docklands seeing relatively small falls. On the availability front Docklands was the only market to see an increase during Q2, with Southbank the only location to see a noticeable fall. RETAIL MARKET Consumer confidence reached its highest reading since April 2010 as the GfK consumer confidence index increased by five to -16. In regards to personal finance over the last 12 months the reading moved up five to -16, the highest figure since July The outlook for personal finance over the next year increased by seven to zero, eight higher than the same stage last year. The now is a good time to save index improved by six in July to -14, a point higher than July Footfall across the UK fell 0.7% in June on an annual basis, down on the 0.2% recorded in May and below the three month average of -0.3%. Data from the British Retail Consortium shows footfall on the high street was down once again by 1.7% against June 2013 and 0.8 lower than in May. Shopping centres also recorded a fall in footfall, 1.2% lower than last year, as out-of-town locations recorded a 2.4% rise, indicating the growing trend of shoppers looking for leisure activities on top of their shopping. Retail sales in the UK were down 0.8% on a like-for-like basis in the year to June but on a total basis sales were up 0.6%, the latest British Retail Consortium figures reveal. In the second quarter of this year food sales have shown negligible growth at 0.1% compared with the 12 month average of 1.1%. Meanwhile non-food sales recorded growth of 3.7% over the last three months, in line with the previous 12 month average. Non-food online sales performed well once again increasing 10.6% in June on an annual measure, with the online penetration rate up 0.9 from June 2013 to 17.2%.

7 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July INVESTMENT MARKET Residential Council of Mortgage Lenders mortgage data indicates that 16,000 loans were advanced for buyto-let purposes in May, up 14% on a year. The loans amounted to a total of 2.2bn up 22% in value over the last 12 months. Of the 16,000 loans 8,700 were advanced for buy-to-let house purchase at a value of 1.1bn, signifying increases of 21% and 38% respectively. Meanwhile, 7,100 loans were advanced for buy-to-let remortgage also at a value of 1.1bn, up by 6% and 22% on an annual basis. New research from the National Landlords Association (NLA) suggests that that amateur landlords account for 70% of the private rented sector in the UK. The study found that the average part-time landlord has a portfolio of four properties with an average gross rental income of 31,000. Meanwhile, buy-to-let lending increased by 32% in the year to June reaching a total of 20.7 billion. Commercial National market The latest IPD commercial property data shows annual capital growth remains buoyant as growth across all property increased 10.33% in the year to June, up from 8.83% in May. Industrial property saw growth of 13.85% and annual growth is now 3.09 above the previous market peak. However, across all property and retail capital growth is still a long way below the last peak. For retail property capital growth moved up 5.51% in the year to June but this is still below the previous peak in the market. Across all property capital growth is currently 5.10 down on the last market high. The sustained capital growth across all property sectors is leading to falls in both initial and equivalent yields, although the pace of the reductions has so far been slow. Rental growth across all property reached 1.87% in June up from 1.53% in May with industrial property reaching 1.90% and retail property, albeit still in negative territory, moving in the right direction at -0.64%. Across all property rental growth is currently 2.14 below the previous peak, with retail property 4.81 below the last high point by industrial property 0.44 above. Figure 4: June 2014 UK commercial property investment indicators Initial yield Equivalent yield Annual capital growth versus last market peak Capital growth: last 12 months Annual rental growth versus last market peak Rental growth: last 12 months All property Retail Office Industrial 5.71% 5.86% 5.05% 6.37% 6.80% 6.43% 6.90% 7.51% % 5.51% 16.30% 13.85% % -0.64% 5.53% 1.90%

8 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July Source: IPD London offices IPD data shows that total returns increased in all three central London locations in June. In the City returns increased by 1 point to 2.4%, while total returns in Mid-Town increased by the same margin to 2.8%. In the West End a 0.9 point increase also lifted total returns to 2.8%. Initial yields in the City fell marginally to 4.6% as equivalent yields held at 6.3% with slightly larger falls in Mid-Town leaving initial and equivalent yields at 3.6% and 5.4% respectively. In the West End both yield types were unchanged in June at 3.3% and 4.8%. Figure 5: Office Monthly Total Returns Central London June May City West End Mid-Town City West End Mid-Town 1 month 2.4% 2.8% 2.8% 1.4% 1.9% 1.8% Source: IPD London retail Since the beginning of the year total returns in Mid-Town have been quite volatile and last month returns jumped 2.1 to 3.3%, while in the West End total returns increased 0.4 from May to 2.8%. Initial yields were unchanged in Mid-Town at 3.8% as equivalent yields dropped slightly to 4.2%. In the West End initial yields edged up to 3.4% but equivalent yields suffered a 0.3 point fall to 4.7%. Figure 6: Retail Monthly Total Returns Central London June May City West End Mid-Town City West End Mid-Town 1 month n/a 2.8% 3.3% n/a 2.4% 1.2% Source: IPD

9 UK Commercial & Residential Property Markets Review: July CONTACT Chestertons is one of London s largest estate agencies and has a network of nearly 30 offices offering sales and lettings services across London, in addition to a further 20 offices worldwide including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, France, Mallorca, South Africa and Australia. David Ramsdale Research Analyst T: +44 (0) E: Mark Holliday Head of Investment Dept. T: +44 (0) E: John Woolley Head of Valuation Dept. T: +44 (0) E: The contents of this report are intended for the purpose of general information and should not be relied upon as the basis for decision taking on the part of the reader. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this report at the time of writing, no liability is accepted by Chesterton Global for any loss or damage resulting from its use. Reproduction of this report in whole or in part is not permitted without the prior written approval of Chesterton Global. July 2014.

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