Land Securities, the UK’s biggest real estate investor, has said that the worst of the rout that has swept through the commercial property market may be over.
The landlord, which owns a total of 1.8 million sq m of retail space worth £4.3bn, has laid out plans to reverse the downward trend that has caused it and almost every other major landlord to sell off large chunks of property and call rights issues over the past year.
It will re-start its investment activity with a rejuvenated acquisition programme and commence work on two new development projects next year.
Land Securities chief executive Francis Salway told The Daily Telegraph: “Everything we have done and seen since the rights issue has given us confidence.”
But Salway also warned that recovery in the levels of demand from occupiers including retail tenants, of which it has around 1,600, would take some time and occur after the investment market had begun to improve.
Land Securities has suffered a fall in its property values of 44 per cent over the past two years and been forced to sell its stake in a number of key assets.
The sales, which amount to £519.4m worth of property since March 31 alone, include its stake in The Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham.
In February, the landlord was forced to launch a £755m rights issue at a significantly discounted rate to prop up its balance sheet.