Our involvement in selling our clients properties at auctions gives us quite a good overview of what is going on with buyers and sellers in the market. We have sold several properties in recent months and the general sentiment is that those lots were much more difficult to sell than in earlier months of the year. Usually the issues are around financing of the properties, especially the commercial ones. Lenders are taking quite a strict view on commercial assets and financing above 50% LTV is challenging to obtain, from what we hear from the buyers and some of their brokers.
The end of the SDLT holiday has also impacted the market. Mainly it was the rush to sell (and buy) before 30 September. After that date a lot of solicitors and people involved in transactions had to take holidays as it was a truly intense period. So we are slowly getting back on track with the transactions as we approach the end of the year.
There is however some positive news that impacted buyer’s confidence on certain types of assets that were seen as very risky recently.
Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, commented on the company’s blog: “The recent budget announcement of business rates relief, both the 50% reduction and the improvement relief, has resulted in positive sentiment from private investors towards retail, leisure and hospitality assets at auction. Investors see the improvement relief as a welcome addition, which will encourage innovation and the overall enhancement of buildings to green and futureproof them for decades to come, allowing them a means to capitalise on property and lettable values.
“The 50% rates reduction will act as a stress relief for those occupiers recovering post-lockdown, which investors view as a means to look increasingly at investment into retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Those reliefs, although not directly benefiting the landlords, will definitely positively impact the cash flow of the retail, hospitality and leisure sector tenants and in effect, also landlord confidence in receiving the rent on time.”