Investment in UK commercial real estate is set to reach a five-year high of £65bn this year despite a “disappointing” Q1 on the cards, according to new research.
Researchers at Colliers International have predicted that overseas investors and pent-up demand will be the main growth drivers.
Office occupancy rates are expected to stabilise at a “new norm” of 75%, with pricing on the best-quality refurbs and premium and trophy stock withstanding market uncertainty to post “healthy” uplifts.
Industrial take-up is forecast to exceed 40m sq ft for units larger than 100,000 sq ft. Rents will continue to rise strongly, Colliers said, pushed by a landlord-favourable imbalance between supply and demand, increasing land values and inflationary pressures on construction costs.
An international search for yield and income security is predicted to drive investment into the sector, as well as releases of stock previously withheld from the market owing to uncertainty.
Colliers said greater levels of UK economic and financial stability in 2022 will also help stimulate investment.
Demand for supermarkets and retail warehousing looks set to be maintained in 2022 as major investors continue to seek stores, according to the firm. Given there are limited opportunities, investors are expected to focus on secondary locations or those with open-market value review patterns.
Elsewhere, Colliers noted that ESG considerations will continue to be top of the agenda for many sectors amid pressure to commit and act on sustainability goals.
Walter Boettcher, head of research and economics at Colliers, said: “Taking a look across the board, UK commercial property pricing will remain stable, with further yield compression expected in prime long-income market segments including London, regional offices and UK-wide logistics. Retail yields will stabilise further, with the exception of obsolete shopping centres.”