Hammerson Says Market Demand Remains Strong Since Brexit Voteby
Hammerson selling assets in U.K., Europe; concludes Irish buy
Brexit vote increases confidence in Irish real estate market
Hammerson Plc, the specialist retail real estate company, said demand for its properties in the U.K. remained strong after Britain’s voted to leave the European Union last month.
”We’ve seen no let-up in leasing demand -- there is a healthy level of leasing activity,” Chief Executive Officer David Atkins said in an interview on Friday. ”We continue to have satisfactory demand on the disposals we have in train.”
Hammerson is currently selling assets in the U.K. and mainland Europe worth 200 million pounds ($258 million), even as it completes the acquisition of some of Ireland’s biggest malls. It pushed ahead with the Irish deal as other U.K.-focused property funds are hit by investors looking to withdraw their funds after the country voted to leave the EU. At least seven funds there have curbed redemptions since the June 23 vote. U.K. retailers had their worst June in a decade.
The U.K.’s third-largest real estate investment trust, Hammerson on Friday took control of a number of properties in Dublin that had been tied to the Project Jewel loan portfolio it bought in September 2015. Hammerson bought Project Jewel in partnership with Allianz SE’s real estate unit, and the portfolio includes the Dundrum Town Center and the Pavilions, two of Dublin’s largest shopping malls.
“Ireland is well placed after Brexit as it is English speaking, and has very significant inward investment,” Atkins said. “We feel that Dublin will be a net winner, and that has increased our confidence in the deal.”