INDUSTRY NEWS

Commercial property market could ‘consolidate’

In the wake of falling commercial property values, one part of the industry could be ready for consolidation, the Independent has reported.

The paper has claimed that talks have taken place between Liberty and a "major rival" to create the world’s largest shopping centre owner.

Linked to the bid are the Australian giant, Westfield Group and the real estate arm of Singapore wealth fund, GIC.

Martin Allen, an analyst at Morgan Stanley told the paper: "Major shopping centres are very defensive, with a low cyclicality because they are not a commodity like offices."

Liberty recently bought London’s Covent Garden and owns shopping centres across the country including the Arndale Centre in Manchester and Lakeside in Thurrock.

The Independent quoted one commercial property market expert who said some of the bigger companies "have upped their exposure to shopping centres as the rewards have grown".

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