Trade counter assets feature as Acuitus raises £31.39m

25th September 2023

Five trade counter investments let to Travis Perkins sold with sale prices ranging from £1.22m-£1.95m as the September Acuitus auction raised £31.39m from the sale of 85% of the lots offered.

The trade counter assets achieved yields ranging from 5.6%-6.8%. Charlie Powter of Acuitus commented: “Investments like these are very popular with investors. In this instance, all the lots benefitted from a strong covenant which has a consumer-resilient business, good unexpired lease terms and low site coverage”.

Elsewhere, a top of the range motor trade investment, operating as a Kwik Fit, with an exceptional roadside location in Nottingham city centre sold for £955,000 at a yield of 4.9%.

The growing popularity of leisure assets was demonstrated the sale of an Odeon cinema in Hastings for £2.25m and five public houses which are let to Stonegate and sold just prior to the auction in excess of their guide prices.

Jon Skerry of Acuitus commented: “Both the cinema and the pub investments are let on leases with RPI-linked rent reviews and these are very attractive to investors looking for progressive rental streams. This type of property also tends to occupy large city centre sites with potential for alternative use”.

The focus on sustainable income was further shown by the sale of a geared ground rent investment of an East London industrial property. The freehold interest in Units 1 to 4 Shaftesbury Court in Leyton sold for £412,000, a yield of 3.6%. The property is let with five-yearly rent reviews geared to 15% of rack rental value.

The sale featured a range of retail assets. There was strong demand for three lots in Cheltenham. A retail/residential asset on Ormond Place sold for £1.5m while two adjacent assets on Cheltenham High Street achieved sale prices of £830,000 and £772,000.

An unbroken freehold retail and residential parade investment near Crewe, with considerable asset management opportunities, sold after concerted bidding for £950,000 – 27% above the guide price.

David Margolis of Acuitus comments: “We’re seeing good demand for retail where the location is undeniably prime but priced to sell or where a change of use into residential can grow rental income and thereby increase capital value”.

The continued repositioning of the shopping centre sector was illustrated by the sale of the 215,000 sq ft Kingsway Shopping Centre in Newport. The centre – which is a complex leasehold asset – occupies a substantial site and sold for £615,000.

Charlie Powter of Acuitus commented: “There have been an increasing number of examples where these assets with large town centre footprints are being repurposed towards other uses. This property offers active asset management opportunities”.

A major office building on the high-profile Stockley Park development near Heathrow was sold prior to auction on behalf of a major investment manager. The pre-auction guide figure was £3m. John Mehtab of Acuitus commented: “Our client wanted to achieve certainty as well as best price and to do this they reached out to an un-tapped market of private investors. This approach proved very successful”.

The amount realised across the entire auction was the highest raised by Acuitus by the close of an auction since before the pandemic, with an average lot size of £826,000. Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, commented: “This was an extremely strong result for high quality institutional-grade assets, the calibre of which the auction market hasn’t seen for a number of years.

“There is clearly a substantial amount of latent demand in our market and an increasing group of committed sellers. The challenge remains ensuring that pricing is precisely calibrated to meet the expectations of both parties and the success of this auction showed our ability to do this.”  

Instructions are now invited for the next Acuitus broadcast auction of 2023 which will take place on Thursday November 2nd. It will provide online, telephone and proxy bidding.