The pandemic has created a swath of tenants in arrears with their rent payments, but there are encouraging signs the worst might be over, says Tom Entwistle

Property management software company, Re-Leased collected anonymised and aggregated data directly from over 10,000 UK properties and 35,000 leases, not relying on surveys or secondary data collections.

The company says it is confident about the validity of this data as its formation is a direct result of bank statements, with entries being matched and reconciled to rental invoices.

Their research took data samples of new rent collection figures to analyse rent collections 7 days after commercial rents were due on 24th June 2021. The figures reveal that commercial tenants in the UK over all sectors have paid 50% of all rents due at the 7-day mark since the June quarter day, which is down just 1% from the same point in the previous March 2021 quarter.

This shows an increase of 32% compared to rent collected on day 0 of the June quarter and an increase of 4% compared to rent collected at day 7 of the June 2020 quarter.

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Industrial

In the industrial sector rent collection was flat at 7 day mark. After a slow start, rent collection for industrial assets mirrors almost exactly that of collections last quarter.

But industrial assets have not experienced the same level of resilience as the office asset class. Industrial rent collection has struggled to match the high performance which was commonplace pre-pandemic.

Retail

Retail rent collections have continued to improve as landlords collected 52% of rent due at the 7 day mark, an increase of 3% compared to the equivalent period for the March 2021 quarter. Retail rent collection is also up 12% on the levels seen a year ago. Despite the re-opening of retail in the second quarter, retail continues to be the poorest performing sector.

The Office Market

Office properties continue to be the most resilient asset class of them all. Compared to the other sectors, rent collection levels for office properties are the closest to pre-pandemic levels of all the sectors, up 4% compared to the same point in June last year.

While they are down 2% compared to the equivalent period for the March 2021 quarter, the sector is up 21% compared to December 2019, the last quarter before the pandemic measures came into play.

The Regions

According to Re-leased the North East region of England experienced the most significant decrease in rent collection levels, down 9% compared to previous quarter. Landlords in London have also seen a slow start to rent collection for the quarter with just 37% of rent collected.

The West Midlands however, continues to see the highest levels of rent collection at day 7 with 59% of rents collected in the region 7 days after the June 2021 quarter day.

Caleb Dunn, Product Manager at Re-Leased says: “The pandemic has been a huge instigator for change in the real estate industry. Over one-year on from the outset of the pandemic, our data is showing that credit notes are continue to fall following the peak in September.

“The office sector has seen the most significant drop in rent credited since this time last quarter.”

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