Retail results brighten forecast


Better than expected results from the retail sector have helped dispel some of London’s commercial property worries.

Debenhams, JJB Sports and Ted Baker have all released positive reports of the Christmas period.

JJB Sports saw total revenue raise by 2.5 per cent, Ted Baker’s second half of the year led to a 14 per cent increase in sales and contractor Balfour Beatty has also anticipated positive results and a strong cash position.

The good news has helped property companies’ prices achieve gains. Hammerson, British Land, Land Securities, Segro and even UK Commercial Property Trust have all improved.

Funds have been in difficulty after the sub-prime lending crisis – the credit crunch left many of them over-exposed to fluctuating property values.

Private residential property is now worth £4 trillion and regions of the UK have all seen at least a 180 per cent increase in the value of their housing stock since 1997.