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A Panel Of Sages Thinks U.K. Rents Will Stagnate And Values Will Fall Next Year

What does the future hold for real estate?

The prospects for U.K. commercial property in 2019 are darker than this year, the latest consensus forecast from the Investment Property Forum shows.

Four times a year the IPF surveys 25 institutions, mainly fund managers, about their expectations for rents, capital values and total returns for the mainstream sectors of U.K. property.

For 2019 the expectation is that on average U.K. commercial property rents will be pretty much stagnant, growing 0.2%; capital values will fall by an average of 1.7%; and total returns from the sector will average 3%, compared to an expectation of 6.2% in 2018.

Perhaps unsurprisingly industrial is the star sector, with rents expected to grow by 2.6% and capital values by 2.7%, and total returns of 7.4% expected. It is the only sector expected to grow next year.

Retail is the dog. Shopping centre rents are expected to fall by 1.5%, leading to capital value falls of 5.4%, although that is better than the 6.6% drop expected this year. Retail warehouse rents are expected to decrease 1.1% and values by 3.9%. High street shop rents will fall by 0.8% and values by 3.3%, according to the IPF.

Offices occupy a position in between, with rents expected to drop by 0.3% and values 2.3% in 2019. For London specifically the West End is expected to outperform the City, but both will still see decreases. In the West End rents are expected to fall by 0.6% and values by 2.6%; while in the City rents will fall by 1.1% and values by 3%.

The good news is that the IPF’s forecast expects 2019 to be the trough for the foreseeable future, with performance picking up in all sectors after.