Londonmetric boss: Property market is a ‘long way from functioning normally’
Londonmetric has said the commercial real estate sector is still a long way from functioning normally, as it posted a strong set of half-year results.
The logistics owner said net rental income reached £76.9m in the six months to 30th September, up from £72.1m in the same period last year.
Occupancy levels across its £3.2bn portfolio of logistics assets remained strong, sitting at 99 per cent with a weighted average unexpired lease term of 11 years.
The firm was also supported by £157m worth of disposals including the sale of four four offices and two long income assets for £24.5m back in November.
The company increased its dividend from 4.8p to 4.3p. EPRA net tangible asset value per share rose from 198.9p to 199.6p.
Chief Andrew Jones, said the firm has been “active and opportunistic” amid a tough environment for property investors.
He said Londonmetric had been: “Looking to sell mature and non-core assets and remaining alert to quality opportunities that are being mispriced by either the real estate or stock markets.”
However, he also warned he does not expect to see “normal liquidity” in the UK property market until five year swap rates fall materially towards 300 basis points.
He added: “Whilst liquidity for real estate has improved from the days of the mini budget last year, the property market is still a long way from functioning normally.
“The five year swap rate is currently 415bps which, whilst down from its peak of 540bps, is still up from 400bps at the time we last reported,” he added
“However, we expect liquidity to benefit from a growing assumption that base rates have peaked at 5.25% and will start to fall during 2024.”
Shares in Londonmetric were unchanged at 11:30am following the release.