Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Future Looks Bright for Commercial Investors

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Future Looks Bright for Commercial Investors

Article excerpt

Byline: By Martyn Collins

Martyn Collins argues that the future of the property investment market looks good in the North-East .

In his March Budget, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced the launch of a consultation document into property investment funds.

If there is a positive response to this document, then these funds could be launched as soon as next year.

Such funds are likely to appeal to institutional investors as they are not liable to tax, provided a high proportion of income is distributed to shareholders.

They are a timely boost to property investment in the North-East. So, too, is the recommendation of the Lyons Report that 20,000 civil servants should be relocated across the country from London and the South-East.

Retail remains the top- performing sector, with total returns of 16.2pc over the past 12 months. With unemployment low and the inflationary climate benign, there is every chance that the retail investment market will continue to thrive.

From a personal and professional point of view, it has been an extremely busy time during the past six months. Over Christmas one of Knight Frank's private buyers completed three acquisitions in the region ( Cameron House (an office building at the MetroCentre) for around over pounds 1.25m; Powdene House, Pudding Chare in Newcastle (two restaurants) for around pounds 500,000; and a pair of semi-detached industrial buildings on Sunderland Enterprise Park, for around pounds 3.25m.

Christmas also saw the Gosforth Shopping Centre traded on for Aberdeen Asset Managers. Knight Frank sold the centre to Graham Wylie, entrepreneur and former director of software plc Sage for pounds 9.25m.

Knight Frank has also been recently involved in the acquisition of Charlotte House in Westgate Road, Newcastle, which comprises upper floor student accommodation providing approximately 170-bed spaces arranged in cluster flats, traded for approximately pounds 3m. …

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