Online shopping to hit UK property investors
By Stephen Eisenhammer
As the way we shop changes, commercial property investors might be the ones losing out.
The rise of online retail is hitting demand for bricks and mortar shops, according to analysts at Aviva Investors, and could spell an end to rental income growth over the next two decades.
An estimated 20 percent of UK retail space will become surplus to requirements in the coming years due to shoppers using the web, according to research by the British Council of Shopping Centres. David Skinner, Chief Investment Officer of Real Estate at Aviva, reckons the trend has just gone up a gear:
The growth of internet shopping has been a key issue of commercial property investors for years but the pace and scale of change has been greater than many had anticipated
According to Skinner average real rental value growth will fall to between 0 percent and 1 percent per year throughout the next two decades.
Retailers will require less space… In many mature markets, internet retailing will be a force behind lower aggregate floorspace demand, which implies a depressive effect on rental growth.
Skinner also said falling demand would lead to rising income risks as well as effect leases, forcing landlords to offer more flexible tenancy agreements.
The winners for Trevor Green, head of institutional equities at Aviva Investors, are companies with a successful, multi-channel strategy that can adapt to the rise of online retail. Green names supermarket chain J Sainsbury as a good pick.