Retail rent collection declines by 18% year-on-year

Re-Leased, the cloud-based commercial property management platform, has published its latest figures for the December Rent Quarter. These new figures analyse rent collection 14 days after commercial rents were due on the 25th December 2020 and provide an indication for the remainder of the quarter.

The data reveals that by 8th January 2020 landlords had received 55% of all commercial rents due. The figure is identical to the same point in the rent collection cycle for the previous quarter in September, however taking a year-on-year view, it represents an overall decline of -9%.

Tom Wallace, Re-Leased’s CEO, said “Rent collection at day 14 remains steady when compared to the three previous quarters, and is on par with the same point in September quarter cycle. While the figures are still some way off their pre-Covid levels a year ago, its encouraging to see that despite Tier 4 restrictions in many parts of the country and a subsequent lockdown, the rent collection curve has continued on a similar trajectory.

“However, this marks the fourth consecutive quarter where landlords have received just over half of rents due. The accumulative impact of this growing shortfall should not be underestimated. With billions of pounds in missing rent, and further restrictions to navigate, many landlords will be under serious financial pressure, especially those with retail assets in their portfolio. We encourage the government to end the commercial property moratorium in March as previously promised. While some occupiers may be struggling, landlords also need the opportunity to enter a period of recovery in 2021, and a re-balancing of the landscape will be welcomed.”

Re-Leased’s analysis is based on live rental collection data from over 10,000 commercial properties and 35,000 leases on its UK platform.

Total % of rent collected
(as of day 14)
Dec Qtr 2019 Mar Qtr 2020 Jun Qtr 2020 Sept Qtr 2020 Dec Qtr 2020
UK – all commercial* 64% 52% 53% 55% 55%
Retail 72% 45% 46% 54% 54%
Office 61% 59% 59% 66% 61%
Industrial 71% 57% 62% 55% 61%

*Includes other asset classes with smaller sample sizes (commercial, leisure etc)

Re-leased’s data shows that each sector is responding differently to the crisis.

The retail sector remains the hardest hit, collecting 54% of rent due. It recorded both the lowest rate for day 14 in this quarter and the sharpest change year-on-year at -18%.

Office assets however continue to show resilience, collecting 61% of rents due, marketing an identical rate of collection to 12-months ago.

The industrial sector collected 61% of rents due, a promising +3% increase on the previous quarter, but a -10% decline year-on-year.

The data also reveals a substantial rise in credit notes over a 12-month period, highlighting where tenants have already made agreements for rent free periods.

Total Credited
(as of day 14)
Dec Qtr 2019 Mar Qtr 2020 Jun Qtr 2020 Sept Qtr 2020 Dec Qtr 2020
UK – all commercial* 0.50% 1.10% 2.50% 3.10% 4.00%
Retail 0.50% 0.70% 2.60% 1.80% 3.30%
Office 0.60% 0.90% 2.00% 3.60% 5.90%
Industrial 0.30% 1.70% 4.70% 3.70% 3.90%

*Includes other asset classes with smaller sample sizes (commercial, leisure etc)

Caleb Dunn, commercial analyst at Re-Leased, said: “The property industry has accepted the long-term impacts of the pandemic by steadily increasing rent credited during the last 12-months. Subsidies are measured by examining the volume of rent that has been reduced by landlords and cleared from tenant’s balances, meaning that they may never have to pay a portion of their rent. Credits are typically awarded by landlords in situations where tenant relationships have been, for the most part, transparent and collaborative. The subsidies facilitated has jumped from 0.5% a year ago to 4%, a substantial increase, and demonstrates that, overall, landlords have been committed to supporting genuinely struggling tenants.”