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Time For Birmingham Investors To Tool Up?

Grimshaw's designs for the interior of the Euston HS2 terminal

The HS2 high speed rail project may be in doubt, the economy looking doubtful with gross domestic product down 0.3%, and the Brexit chaos more chaotic with every day that passes, but now could be the time to restock the war chests, one Birmingham REIT has hinted.

Real Estate Investors, the Birmingham-based REIT with a Midlands-focused portfolio of 1.53M SF of commercial property across all sectors, said it had £25M cash and banking facilities to take advantage of opportunities.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games, due to be held in Birmingham, are one of the factors giving the investor confidence.

“In June 2019, the Government announced its plans to invest £778M in Birmingham and the West Midlands in advance of staging the 2022 Commonwealth Games,” the REIT said in a trading update. "As the UK's only Midlands-focused and Birmingham-based Real Estate Investment Trust, REI is well positioned to capitalise on any opportunities that major events, infrastructure and development projects bring to the already vibrant Midlands region.

“We have monitored the availability of criteria-compliant assets to add to our portfolio, yet have seen limited opportunities over the last six months. We have £25M of cash and available bank facilities and [are] therefore well positioned to secure further assets during H2, to add to the existing £225M portfolio (as at 31 December 2018). With the benefit of our network, we are confident in our ability to add to our Midlands ownership.”

The portfolio is diversified, with no reliance on any single asset, occupier or sector. The office element of the portfolio represents 39% of the total value and is performing well, the statement said.

“Despite market sentiment, we are experiencing steady demand from occupiers and our discount retailers continue to trade well, with rents received promptly from our occupiers,” the company added.