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Are Investors Holding Back As The Brexit Drama Reaches A Crisis? Not In Birmingham

Norfolk House, Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham

As the Brexit negotiations take another lurch, and the U.K. prepares for an autumn of knife-edge parliamentary votes, investors in some sectors and some cities are sitting on their hands.

But in Birmingham there is no evidence of hesitation, if the £22M offer for sale of Norfolk House, launched last week, and this week's announcement of a £20.75M offer for sale at Bank House, are any guide.

The 117K SF Norfolk House, Smallbrook Queensway, includes 27K SF of retail floorspace and the net intial yield is 7.04%. GVA is advising. Bank House totals 79K SF and is on sale at a net initial yield of 5.5%. Savills are advising on behalf of liquidators.

Both reach the market after a summer dominated by RPMI Railpen and Nurton Developments' agreement on Birmingham’s largest investment transaction of the year. Railpen acquired 2 Colmore Square and Cannon House in the city centre for £95M.

"Norfolk House has been well received, including institutional interest, and we're seeing no sign of people sitting on their hands if the volume of interest we've had in the last seven days is any guide," GVA Senior Director Damian Lloyd said.

"The story in Birmingham has been not enough stock and plenty of people wanting to buy into property, that's been the story for a long time and it still is. Many investors are prepared to ignore the noise around Brexit because they want to invest."

Lloyd said that the continued weight of equity moving into property contrasts with the heavily leveraged growth of the last property boom.

"We're definitely not seeing a chilling effect and it doesn't surprise me, because most investors are tuning into the longer-term trends. I feel this cycle has got further to go and it is important to note the ways in which this isn't a property bubble like 2007. If there are threats, they are probably likely to come in the form of external shocks," he said.