Around £13bn of UK commercial real estate assets were traded in the final quarter of 2018 taking the full year investment total to £55.8bn – ahead of the long-term average, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
While the full year investment total represented an 18% reduction on 2017 and the quarterly total of £12.8bn was down 43% on a year ago, reductions were expected with activity coming off recent highs. Both annual and quarterly trading was still above long run averages of £42bn and £10.5bn respectively.
Cushman & Wakefield research revealed that activity was weaker in most sectors with the exception of hotels and residential which were broadly stable on the back of continued demand. Logistics dropped the most (-40% to £7.9bn), albeit 2017 volumes were supported by a number of large portfolio sales.
Retail investment was 23% lower over the year driven by a 27% fall in retail parks. Prices are beginning to stabilise, or even fall in some cases. Retail was the only sector to see yields rise from 6.00% to 6.15% over the year.
In all other sectors, yields continued to compress, albeit at a weaker pace, with the greatest decrease in industrial where the equivalent yield fell 47bps in 2018 to 5.32%.