British Land, the FTSE 100 property giant, put out its half-year report on Tuesday and in it the company says the “UK property markets remained strong over the first half.”
The amount of money flowing into the sector gives and indication of just how buoyant the market is and British Land says: “Appetite for UK real estate remained robust with a record £30.7 billion ($US46.6 billion) of direct real estate investment in the first six months of 2015.”
That’s the equivalent of £170 million ($US258 million) pumped into UK property every day from January to June. It’s a lot.
British Land says nearly 80% of this went into London, where it has been focusing its efforts.
A shortage of both office space and housing in the capital has led to spiralling prices — great news for property developers and investors.
British Land’s financial highlights for the first half are:
- Underlying profit up 10.3% to £171 million ($US259 million);
- Reported pre-tax profit slipped from £1 billion ($US1.52 billion) to £823 million ($US1.24 billion);
- Total portfolio valuation up 4.7%. Finished investments are up 4.5%, while developments increased by 8.5%;
- 573,300 sq ft of leasing across its retail and office portfolio, which is 98.4% occupied.
And British Land has some ambitious plans for the future too:
- Refurbishment of 100 Liverpool Street, UBS’ current east London headquarters, to created a glass and steel building;
- Restoration and renovation of 1 Finsbury Avenue in east London;
- 230,000 sq ft of leisure extensions to retail assets including Drake Circus, Plymouth, and New Mersey Shopping Park, Speke;
- A “master plan” for the renovation of Canada Water in south-east London into a mixed-use site with offices, accommodation, shops, and green spaces.
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