Grainger PLC, the UK’s largest listed residential property owner and manager, has reported positive
outlook on property trading conditions so far in the new financial year.
In its update for the four months ending of January 2015 the report says:
“Sales – Average sales prices achieved at c.3.9% above September 2014 vacant possession value (31 Jan 2014: prices achieved 7.1% above September 2013 vacant possession value).
“Sales pipeline – £102.3m of sales completed, exchanged or in solicitors’ hands (31 Jan 2014: £104.0m, excluding the disposal of the £88m home reversion portfolio.
“Rents – Continued strong levels of rental demand on Grainger managed UK market rented properties. Year to date increases averaged 6.3% on a like-for-like basis on new lets, excluding the impact from refurbishments, and 2.6% on renewals.
“Acquisitions – We have acquired, or exchanged contracts on c.£85m of residential assets (c.1,000 units) since the start of the year, comprising predominantly market rented assets, located outside of London. £58m of this relates to the portfolio acquisition announced on 2 February 2015. On an annualised basis these acquisitions should deliver around £6m of gross rental income.
“PRS Fund valuation – The valuation of our private rented sector (PRS) Fund with APG, GRIP Unit Trust, saw a 6.7% like for like increase in the six month period to December 2014 (the second half of the venture’s financial year).
“Derivative movements – In the four months to the end of January, there has been an adverse movement in the mark to market valuation of derivatives of approximately £14m (2014: a credit of £1m).”
Chief executive Andrew Cunningham has said:
“We have seen positive trading conditions in the new financial year, with robust sales, good rent increases achieved and fee levels in line with expectations. While home buyers have become more sensitive to pricing in recent months, the price points of our properties continue to generate strong interest and sell at levels above their vacant possession value in London and the South East, as well as the other UK regions where we operate. Rental demand for new lets and renewals remains strong.
“As we indicated previously, we anticipate that the UK General Election and the uncertainty surrounding it will likely lead to a softer transactional market for home sales during the election period. In addition, we note recent global economic concerns spurred by various factors including the continued uncertainty in the Eurozone.
“Nonetheless, there are a number of factors that continue to provide positive upward pressure over the medium term for the UK housing market, including the low interest rate environment, improving real wages, changes to the stamp duty regime and the continued supply-demand imbalance.
“We continue to actively pursue a number of investment opportunities, particularly focused on market rented assets and build to rent.”
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) February 6, 2015