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Take The Money And Run


You run the numbers, think about the work involved and decide trying to re-let the building or convert it to another use is not for you. It’s time to put it on the market. 

As outlined at the start, yours isn’t a great building. It is in an OK but not brilliant location, slightly off-pitch, on the edge of the CBD. It is starting to get a bit tired and run-down, and it is pretty far away from being ESG-compliant.

Investors are already starting to re-rate such buildings. Evidence is mounting that where leasing markets are starting to recover in cities like London, a huge amount of the leasing activity is in grade-A buildings, particularly those with high sustainability criteria. And investors want the best buildings with the best tenants. 

That said, selling now might be better than waiting a few years, when the market might really have moved. 

“The question is, do secondary offices go the way of secondary shopping centres?” Patrizia Head of Transactions for the UK and Ireland Phil Irons said. “We’ve had painful experiences of the value destruction that has happened in secondary shopping centres, where the decline from the peak is 80%. If you’d asked people that owned those centres five years ago, would they see an 80% drop, they’d have said no.”

Irons said the difference in yields between prime and secondary offices was currently about 100-150 basis points in London, but that does not price in the risk of value declines in poorer assets if owners don’t spend significantly to improve the sustainability rating of buildings. 

“That is a gap of about 20%, and when you take in the CapEx and the potential rent declines, the fall in value could be far greater than 20%,” he said.

You might not get as much as you might have thought for the building, but values for assets like yours, unimproved, are probably only going one way. Your adventure is over.

Don't like where you've ended up? Start over!

Related Topics: Patrizia, Future of work, Phil Irons