It has been a shattering 12 months for the industry. Property Week rounds up the events, people and issues that defined the year.
Candy brothers win prolonged £132m legal battle brought by a former associate; in his first statement since taking on the new housing secretary role, Sajid Javid tells Property Week he plans to use his cabinet status to deliver more housebuilding sites; Helical markets its remaining industrial properties for £132m; House of Fraser seeks rent cuts from landlords; Jeremy Helsby announces he will retire as Savills’ group chief executive at the end of the year; real estate market counts the cost of Carillion collapse; Asprey lines up £10.5bn in funding to build more than 85,000 homes across England; fallout from the Presidents Club dinner begins.
Oxygen Asset Management pays Evans Randall close to £400m for the London HQ of hedge fund manager Man Group; British Land splashes out £103m for a major new retail-led scheme at the Woolwich Estate; Property Week reveals Capital & Counties is set to sell the Empress State Building for around £240m to the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime; First Panattoni buys an Elstree warehouse for a record price of more than £3m per acre; the profit gap in EMEA between CBRE and JLL grows by $175m in just two years.
Property Week reveals that GM Real Estate co-founder Tony McCurley is to quit the firm he has run since 2010; the Saudi prince who co-owns Sheffield United FC is revealed to be planning a multi-million-pound investment push into UK commercial property; New Look announces plans to close 60 stores under a proposed CVA; US developer Hillwood Properties buys its first UK site; the industry welcomes chancellor Philip Hammond’s introduction of three-yearly business rate reviews; Fusion Students and Unite buy two student accommodation portfolios with a combined value of circa £430m; a Property Week survey reveals negative sentiment on Brexit has grown among property professionals; the scale of the gender pay gap in the property industry is exposed as companies publish their pay statistics.
Property Week reveals South Korean fund Mirae Asset Daewoo is poised to buy City of London trophy asset 20 Old Bailey for a sum of around £340m; Hammerson rejects Klépierre’s 635p-a-share takeover offer; intu chief exec David Fischel talks up ‘great future’ for the company following the collapse of Hammerson’s takeover; Property Week reveals Landsec is considering launching a serviced office brand; Carpetright seeks a CVA; the great and the good of the industry gather at Grosvenor House to be feted at the Property Awards; Property Week reports that Singaporean real estate giant CapitaLand is looking to make its UK BTR debut.
Schroders agrees to acquire £1.6bn hotels business Algonquin; Aviva Investors closes in on a deal to sell its £5bn indirect real estate business;former Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire replaces Sajid Javid as housing minister in a government reshuffle; commercial property portal Property.Works folds; Property Week reveals that advertising and PR giant WPP Group is considering taking more space in the regions; a big fall in Bluewater’s value hits Landsec’s full-year results; AEW UK Investment puts its South East Office Fund on the market for £146m; Barnett Ross sells a residential estate in North London for £20m – the most expensive single lot ever sold at auction in the UK.
Online retail giant Amazon starts a search in the West Midlands and North East for sites suitable for multi-storey fulfilment centres; US private equity firm Westbrook Partners strikes a £162m deal to buy an industrial portfolio from Mansford; M&G Real Estate snaps up a 50% stake in the Fort Kinnaird retail park in Edinburgh for £167m; Singaporean investor Elite Partners Capital is reported to be close to buying 98 regional offices from Telereal Trillium in its first UK purchase;Property Week reveals that Round Hill Capital is in talks with Watkin Jones to forward-fund seven student housing projects with a £250m GDV; newly listed REIT Stenprop reveals plans to become the UK’s first ‘serviced industrial’ provider; British Airways is reported to be on the hunt for a new Thames Valley HQ after Heathrow’s third runway gets the green light; data shows the number of UK flexible workspace centres grew by 10% in 2017.
Top 10 most-read stories of 2018
- The cult of WeWork
- Top BNP Paribas Real Estate agents made redundant
- JLL falls behind CBRE in EMEA
- Ivanhoé withdraws future investments from Ritchie after Presidents Club dinner
- WeWork makes first acquisition of a UK company
- What’s gone wrong at JLL and where does it go now?
- Cushman and Avison Young in £250m-plus battle for GVA
- Property’s finest celebrated at Property Awards 2018
- CBRE offers $5.5m golden handcuffs to top-level staff
- Former JLL directors form new retail and leisure consultancy
Property Week reveals that drinks producer Diageo plans to move its global HQ from Park Royal to a more central, west London location; The Crown Estate chief executive Alison Nimmo announces she will step down at the end of 2019; short sellers ramp up their bets against NewRiver REIT; Delancey and Oxford Properties form a co-investment platform focused on BTR with initial capital commitments of £600m; Goldman Sachs and the Wellcome Trust pull out of the running for the £1.5bn Network Rail arches portfolio; political pressure leads Haringey Council to ditch its £4bn joint venture with Lendlease; Property Week reports that Singapore Press Holdings is poised to make its UK real estate debut with a £180m student accommodation portfolio.
AProperty Week investigation reveals that dozens of privately owned residential towers are fitted with aluminium composite combustible cladding; figures show investment in the UK PRS soared to £907m in Q2; after IWG fails to find a buyer, Property Week reveals that the company has been quietly raising a fund to buy flexible offices for its Regus and Spaces brands; Spelthorne Borough Council’s spending on commercial property hits £890m; asset manager APAM warns that up to 200 shopping centres risk breaching debt covenants and falling into administration or receivership; data shows that local authority commercial property acquisitions rose by 50% year on year in the first half of 2018; Property Week reveals that Cadogan Estates is making the first big property investments outside London in its 300-year history.
Mars Pension Fund drops its £500m investment mandate with LaSalle Investment Management; Property Week reveals that Grosvenor plans to launch a serviced office arm; Telereal Trillium and Blackstone Property Partners are poised to buy Network Rail’s arches portfolio for £1.46bn; SEGRO overtakes Landsec to become the UK’s largest listed property group; the Van Tuyl and Stephens family offices – two of the richest in the US – gear up to invest hundreds of millions in UK real estate through an exclusive mandate with FirethornTrust; fashion retailer Next says it expects to slash the rent it pays on 33 stores by 28% this year; Property Week reveals its inaugural list of RESI Trailblazers at the all-new RESI Convention at Celtic Manor in Wales.
Cushman & Wakefield and Avison Young enter into a two-way battle to purchase GVA; FirethornTrust strikes its first UK deal, acquiring an office building in Canary Wharf; Evans Randall homes in on a deal to buy a large chunk of Clerkenwell for up to £200m; Ballymore Group puts the first major office scheme in Nine Elms up for sale for around £160m; reports emerge that a consortium consisting of Brookfield Property, Peel Group and the Olayan Group are lining up a takeover bid for intu; investment manager Mill Group backs the UK’s first accessible housing fund; hedge fund Elliott Capital Advisors increases its short positions in Landsec and British Land.
Chancellor Philip Hammond comes under fire from the property industry following the Budget for failing to offer a lifeline to major retailers on the brink of collapse; CBRE launches its own co-working and serviced office space venture Hana; Singaporean investor City Developments buys 125 Old Broad Street from Blackstone for £385m; Amazon considers moving from square feet to cubic feet to measure its warehouse estate; IWG-owned co-working provider Spaces sets out ambitious plans to double its portfolio in 2019 to more than 400 offices globally; WeWork leases all eight floors at Kennedy Wilson Europe’s 196,000 sq ft Friars Bridge Court on London’s South Bank; Avison Young finalises takeover of GVA;Property Week reveals the City of London Corporation is on the verge of buying the Barking Power Station site for around £125m; Sony goes under offer on 50,000 sq ft of office space in Liverpool city centre – one of the biggest letting deals of the decade; the share price of UK property companies takes a battering as Brexit fears grow; US online furniture retailer Wayfair is in negotiations to pre-let a new 1m sq ft distribution centre in the East Midlands.
Investment manager Trophaeum Asset Management launches a new investment vehicle that will plough £10bn into high-end retail assets across major European cities over the next five years; the Telegraph Media Group launches a search for a new HQ; Legal & General draws up plans to turn House of Fraser’s Birmingham store into offices and a hotel; Poundstretcher embarks on a huge expansion programme; analysts urge intu to take ‘drastic’ action following aborted takeovers.
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Review of the year: key events timeline