The UK all-property DTZ Fair Value IndexTM (FVI), which offers insight into the relative attractiveness of current pricing in the UK property markets, increased to 53 at the end 2011 from 33 in Q3 2011. Several regional markets were revised upwards in response to their more attractive pricing relative to government bond yields, which continued to fall sharply during Q4. This quarter, Manchester industrial has returned to the HOT category, joining Manchester retail. Whilst Birmingham retail, Edinburgh office, Bristol office and Cardiff office have all been upgraded to WARM.
In Q4 2011, 19 of the 20 UK markets covered were HOT or WARM, showing that prime property can provide investors with a relatively attractive proposition in a difficult economic environment. The UK is also out-performing the broader European index score of 36. Yields in UK markets are generally slightly higher, and the UK economy is seen as less vulnerable than markets directly exposed to the sovereign debt crisis.
Ben Burston, Associate Director, Forecasting & Strategy Research at DTZ and author of the report, said: “Investors seeking the safety of government paper in the UK would do well to consider selective investment in prime property, which offers a substantial yield premium over low bond yields. With most prime regional UK office markets trading at yields of 6% and above, investors can earn adequate returns even in the absence of future capital appreciation and this is reflected in the current Fair Value Index ratings.”
In Q4 2011 the combination of higher bond yields and rising property yields caused several markets to be upgraded. The Edinburgh office and Birmingham retail markets both moved from COLD in Q3 2011 to WARM this quarter.
Last quarter’s report revealed that Bristol and Cardiff office markets had become COLD owing to a 25 base point fall in yields. This quarter they are among the markets with rising yields, upgrading them to WARM.
Manchester industrial has returned to HOT. It is forecast to benefit from above average rental growth in 2013 and 2014, driving capital growth and, combined with an attractive yield, this leads to strong forecast returns.
Russell Hefferan, Associate Director, Valuation at DTZ in Manchester comments: “There is positive news for the region as the Manchester commercial property market is becoming an increasingly attractive place to invest. The latest DTZ research forecasts prime rental growth and attractive yields for purchasers in the offices, retail and industrial markets which coincides with increased requirements emerging from the offices market for good quality space.
“Confidence in the market is shown by Allied London’s recent announcement at MIPIM to build 160,000 sq ft of office space as part of the next Spinningfields scheme with completion expected to be 2014. In addition, the residential sector has also noted increased requirements for land from developers particularly for some prime sites where land values have peaked back to 2007 levels. However, with further economic uncertainty the yield gap between what is now considered prime and anything else continues to widen.”