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UK property remains a ‘fundamentally safe asset class’ for investors

Despite initial concerns that a Brexit vote might lead to significant falls in capital values, the latest research by Savills shows that they have actually stabilised in the UK commercial property market, while prime yields have continued to fall since peaking in summer 2016.

Overall, UK prime yields ended last year just 22 basis points higher than at the end of 2015 after peaking at 35 bps higher during August 2016.

According to property advisor’s latest Market in Minutes report, regional hotel yields experienced their first fall since April 2015, dropping from 5.5% to 5.25% in December, while yields on restricted retail warehouses have returned to 5.75%, where they were in January 2016, after peaking at 6% in December 2016.

Although annual capital values are continuing to decline, the fall has levelled off, and Savills now forecast that positive annual growth is likely to be seen by the end of the summer.

Mark Ridley, CEO of Savills UK and Europe, said: “Overall, despite the global political events of the past eight months, with more European elections to come, the attractiveness of UK commercial property as a fundamentally safe asset class to all types of buyers continues.

“Competition for the best assets remains strong with demand often exceeding supply, hence why we expect to see capital value growth turn a corner.”

Steve Lang, director in the commercial research team at Savills, added: “Assessing monthly and annual change in investment performance provides the best indicator of where the short-term trend is heading.”

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