AIM-listed European industrial investor Hansteen Holdings said today it would be looking to buy in the UK next year to take advantage of falling property values.

The company, which has a £445m portfolio in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, said that it would be putting aside equity to buy in the UK next year, primarily through joint ventures.

Strong results

The news came on the back of strong interim results, with Hansteen revealing a 5% rise in net asset value to 145p a share to 30 June. This was driven by a 1% increase in the value of its property portfolio, primarily through German acquisitions, and a 48% increase in net rental income to £32.9m.

Hansteen was cautious for the year ahead. ‘Although the occupancy market in Continental Europe remains robust and yields still far exceed the cost of money, given the shortage of bank finance worldwide there may well be outward pressure on yields in the second half of 2008,’

Chairman Jamie Hambro said. ‘Our policy in Europe is to be cautious in new acquisitions as we husband our resources for a period where we feel there may be significant opportunities from distressed sellers.’