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Two Reports Show U.K. Property Is Heading For A Downturn

Northwest Europe at night

Two recently released reports show that U.K. property represents the riskiest value since before the last crash and is heading toward the level where a sharp downturn is very likely.

A report compiled by Radley Associates with input from the Property Industry Alliance showed the value of U.K. property is 12% above long-term levels — close to a threshold identified as dangerous.

The Property Industry Alliance came up with a long-term valuation metric in 2016 which used historical evidence to show that if real estate gets to 15% above long-term valuations, then a sharp correction is very likely within five years.

“There has been a 3% rise in the measure over the last six months which if repeated over the coming six months should send clear warning signals to the lenders that market values are moving into danger territory," Radley Operations Director Charles Cardozo said.

The increase is mainly driven by rising industrial and office prices.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Fair Value Index showed that for the first time the U.K. has no submarkets that are undervalued.

The index measures the expected return from real estate against what you could get from investing in risk-free assets like government bonds. It found that two-thirds of U.K. markets were fairly valued and a third were fully valued.

On a Europe-wide level, values are at their highest since early 2006, and the best value is to be found in riskier markets like Moscow. One exception is Dublin industrial, the fifth-best-priced market in Europe, Cushman said.