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U.K. Commercial Property Values Fall for 16th Month in February

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. commercial real estate values fell for the 16th consecutive month in February, led by a drop in retail properties, Investment Property Databank Ltd. said.

The average value of stores, offices and warehouses declined 0.2 percent from January, London-based IPD said in a statement today. Total return, which combines changes in real estate values and rental income, fell to 0.3 percent in February.

“There are encouraging signs in the U.K. property market, but sentiment is vulnerable to external shocks,” Phil Tily, a managing director at IPD, said in the statement. “Many will be waiting for the chancellor’s budget next week in the hope that it includes stimulus for regional growth, because until economic performance starts to improve outside of London, investors will continue to hesitate.”

The U.K.’s largest real estate companies are using their access to capital to invest in properties and developments at a time when prices are falling and smaller competitors are struggling to raise money.

British Land Co. on March 12 said it plans to raise about 500 million pounds ($751 million) in a share sale to spend on acquisitions and development. “Vendors are showing an increasing realism around value access to finance continuing to constrain many buyers,” the company said.

Retail values overall declined by 0.3 percent. The average values of offices and warehouses fell 0.2 percent.

The IPD index was compiled from appraisals of 3,427 properties valued at 31.5 billion pounds at the end of January.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Gower in London at pgower@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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