The market (includes Swindon & Bath) Analysis of the market strength in the office and retail sectors Elaine Cavanagh, freelance writer - 01225 444 875, email@example.com
People & Companies A look at the agency landscape and developer strategies as the economy starts pulling out of recession Daniel Cunningham, senior writer, 020 7911 1822, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for receipt of editorial information is Monday 15 March 2010
The North West is "leading the UK out of recession," and "intervention at a regional level has protected the region from the ravages of recession." That was the bullish claim of one speaker at this morning's Smith Institute seminar at the House of Lords this morning I went to this morning.
The report states that the North WEst now has a £120bn economy and urges that the region be granted greater economic powers in order that its economic priorities be met.
The Chatham House rule prevents me from dishing the dirt on who exactly said what, but the flavour was a generally positive - vehemently at times - overview of how the North West is faring this downturn.
I remember one of my first trips to Liverpool after it had been announced it had won the European capital of culture. There, in a subway by the train station, was a man bent over throwing up on the capital of culture banner. Many have since poured equal scorn on the title.
The shortlist for the inagural City of Culture in 2013 was announced yesterday, with Sheffield, Norwich, Birmingham and Londonderry making the grade. Yet column inches have been
filled debating if the honour is worth it and if the Capital of Culture really spurred on
regeneration in Liverpool or if the fixed timeline just added another headache. So what do the locals make of it?
In Yorkshire although there was mourning for Hull and Barnsley which didn't make the list, the Yorkshire Post
rolls out Sheffield-born actor Sean Bean, and says the city will
become a magnet for the arts...."hosting events such as the Turner
Prize and the Brit Awards."
Quite what the highbrow arts community might make of the Brit Award winner Lily Allen flying the flag for cultrure is another thing.
By Daniel Cunningham on February 24, 2010 10:43 AM
The subtle difference between these two recently-taken pictures (except for the fact that one is a night-time snow scene and the other isn't) is that they show the site of Manchester's largest development project, before and after the diggers rolled in.
The images are taken from the top of the Co-operative Group's New Century House in Manchester and show the site of the group's 325,000 sq ft headquarters development. The top picture, taken last December, clearly shows the landholding still in use as a car park. The bottom picture, taken last week, shows that groundworks for the 3D Reid-designed building are now underway (EGi subscribers can read more about the project here.)
Regional rents may be over the worst. Jones Lang LaSalle has issued what at first looks like an up-beat release for developers desperate to get cracking on those building plans (read the full report here). But read on, the agency goes on to say that it's a shortage of supply and definitely not a growth in demand that's pushing up those rents.
Look at its office clock and that bottom left quadrant, which shows rents accelerating is sadly and totally empty. From a regional point of view only a handful are inching past the 4pm rents bottoming out mark.
Edinburgh and Leeds started to fall later so are behind the cycle and only just beginning to catch up now, says JLL. Birmingham fell first so is already past the worst.
Business insolvencies across the UK are falling, in fact they are at the lowest rate since June 2007. That's the good news from Experian today.
Unfortunately for Yorkshire, it is top of the list of failures with nearly double the amount of businesses going under last month compared to virtually every other part of the country. It's closely followed by the North East.
You can see the full list of results by clicking on the continue reading link below but the highlights are below.
LOSERS Yorkshire had the highest rate of failures in January Scotland was the only region to see a year on year increase in insolvency WINNERS Wales had the lowest rate of business failures in January The South West was the most robust, with the best financial strength score in January The North East lost the ignoble top spot as the region with the highest insolvency rate decreasing 30%
Greater London saw the highest year-on-year improvement in financial health yet had the lowest overall financial strength score of any region.
Readers who are partial to watching 22 grown men kick a ball around a rectangular pitch will be intently watching the financial crisis which is enveloping football, from both a supporters' and a property perspective.
Indeed, across the country, the financial problems faced by football clubs are highlighting property's role in the sport.
Here's what the press have to say about it.
Crystal Palace: Last Friday, EG's Mike Phillips revealed how the sale of beleagured Crystal Palace FC's stadium is likely to prove crucial in the hunt for a buyer for the club. EGi subsribers can read the story here.
The Croydon Advertiser reports that the complicated ownership of Palace's ground has been a major stumbling block in the club's search for a buyer, but that talks are progressing.
Portsmouth: As it faces the possibility of liquidation, Portsmouth FC has dominated sporting headlines of late. Portsmouth Today reports that the hunt for a buyer is on, but of particular interest to property people is the fact that property giant Grosvenor was one of the parties persuing the winding-up order against the club, as reported in The Telegraph. The petition was subsequently withdrawn.
EGTV's intrepid reported Helen Roxburgh was at the opening of CSC's £170m Eldon Square revamp and extension. Shoppers were queuing from 7am to see the centre. For pictures click here to go to our launch day post.
Apple seems to have created the sort of new store excitement most retailers dream of. The iPod to iPhone maker attracted crowds when it opened in St David's 2 shopping centre in Cardiff last year and now the Apple-effect has hit Newcastle.
Ahead of today's opening of the £170m redevelopment and extension of Capital Shopping Centre's Eldon Square, in which Apple has taken a store, lanes were erected in anticipation of queues of shoppers. But even that was not enough with reports of queues forming just to join the queue.
December retail sales almost gave retailers a reason to hope that an end to the recession was in sight but when we looked at the British Retail Consortium research last week it showed the worst Janauary performance for 15 years, there were mutterings of a double dip.
Research into high street footfalls released today by the Association of Town Centre Managers add little evidence to contradict this theory - its figures show that the UK as a whole, experienced a decline in footfall of 7.5% in January compared to 8% decline in the same period last year.
However, when the figures are broken down per region it shows that the recession may not be the primary cause of fewer shoppers after all. It could be the snow.
Earlier this week John Lewis announced they'd be opening a home store in Croydon.
It will be the partnership's second in the country and follows hot on the heels of the one it opened in Poole (pictured) last October. It seemed fairly obvious back then that this was a reaction to the retailer desperately wanting to expand but being thwarted by developers inability to deliver (although the partnership is far too polite to ever actually say that).
In Croydon John Lewis has patiently waited while the fireworks flew over Park Place. The 1m sq ft retail scheme collapsed last year and its future, like much of Croydon's regeneration is now under review. In this week's mag we've taken a detailed look at Croydon's plans and John Lewis says it still had "long term ambition" to set up in the town.
They announced back in 2004 that they wanted a presence in Croydon - the same time incidentally that they announced an ambition to be in Cardiff, a store that has is now open and trading.
The fact that they've invested £7.5m in the at home concept in the town and settled for 52,000 sq ft rather than the 300, 000 sq ft promised at Park Place hints that they may realise that that ambition is slipping further an further over the horizon.
London & Midtown Focus synopsis Published April 3, 2010
Midtownoffices Analysis of the market's performance and prospects Contact: Simon Jack, freelance writer, 01225 444 780, email@example.com
Midtown people & companies A look at how the agency landscape is shaping up as the market takes tentative steps towards recovery. Contact: Daniel Cunningham, senior writer, 020 7911 1822, firstname.lastname@example.org
Midtown retail & leisure Analysis of the market's performance and prospects Contact: Mark Faithfull, freelance writer, 0560 286 0859 email@example.com
A lack of supply and the fragile state of the property market were key topics at the Estates Gazette Focus reception in Manchester last week (for pictures click here).
The reception, held in the Urbis building in Manchester city centre, included a presentation by EG editor Damian Wild. He also announced the winners of the EGi deals database competition with King Sturge taking the Most Active National Agent in Greater Manchester title and Roger Hannah the Most Active Regional Agent.
EGTV's Helen Roxburgh talked to attendees about the city's property market, and visited developer Argent at its 78,000 sq ft office scheme The Hive, which is due to complete next week. The building is a rarity - a new office block completing in the city this year.
British Land might be reporting today that its retail portfolio is at full capacity but step inside those shops and the atmosphere is more sombre.
The British Retail Consortium said this morning that retail sales had the worst January for 15 years hit by the triple whammy of cold weather, rising VAT and retailers deciding against aggressive discounting.
They are not the only ones. You can see from Synovate's weathermap that drilling down to regional level fails to brighten that picture.
When the figures came out just after Christmas there was some hope things would perk up. But Synovate reckon it's actually been the worst January for half a decade. Overall retail is down 5% on January last year and a whopping 27.5% on December.
The outlook this month is for further slippage and Synovate reckons we'll see another 6% drop by the end of February with Northern England (-1.6%) and London & the South East worst (1.5%) hit.
There is a bit of cheery news - if it can be called that. The group had been predicting Scotland and Northern Ireland would suffer a 5% slip in January. It turns out that it only dipped by 2.7% and is now predicted to put in the 'best' performance in the UK with nearly 3% growth.
Tomorrow the British Property Federation report its own figures. It's probably too much to hope for good news.
Bristol's Cabot Circus has given the city's skyline an iconic glass canopy roof but ever wondered how landlord the Bristol Alliance keeps it clean? Well I found out on Friday when I was in the city and it certainly isn't a job for those who are nervous of heights.
The centre, which will be two years old in the Autumn, was busy with shoppers, although it was a bit quieter at Quakers Friars which is where the posher shops are.
Sadly the new development makes The Mall look, well, rather dated but there were still plenty of people around that end of Broadmead.
There's plenty of talk about Peel'sMediaCityUK at the moment, especially surrounding ITV,
which is currently based in central Manchester but is talking to Peel
about a potential move (EGi subscribers can read about the
the wake of EG's Manchester Focus reception on Wednesday evening, I
made the trip to Salford Quays yesterday to see for myself how the
scheme is coming along.
The view from many in Manchester is that Peel needs to bag ITV in
order to bring a second major media anchor to the scheme, and prevent
it from simply becoming known as the BBC's home in The North.
With ITV recently appointing former FA and Royal Mail man Adam Crozier as chief executive and Archie Norman as chairman, most are hopeful that the broadcaster's long-mooted move to Salford Quays, taking with it the famed cobbles of Coronation Street, will happen.
That said, the view of Media City
from across the Manchester Ship Canal is already pretty impressive. Click on the slide-show below to see the photographic evidence.
Bristol's property fraternity packed out the Wessex Suite in the city's Thistle hotel last night for the annual BPAA dinner. Numbers were up by a 100 on last year and whether it was the relief of getting over 2009 or the flowing wine, there was certainly a lively atmosphere.
Out-going BPAA president Chris Haworth of Alder King had the honour of choosing the after dinner speaker and although there were a few groans from land-lovers when they heard it was yachstman Pete Goss MBE, he turned out to be an able raconteur, captivating the audience with tales of near death experiences on the open seas and head-butting former French president Jacques Chirac.
And while the prospect of an accompanying slide show would have the most patient people running for the bar, the 450 guests couldn't take their eyes off the screens, but then you don't expect to see images of gashed elbows and broken legs among the ones of boats fighting impossibly huge waves.
At least it meant there was a good excuse for looking a bit green about the gills at the end of the night.
Chris then handed over the chains of office to new president Andrew Batchelor of Hartnell Taylor Cook. Andrew has been known to run the odd marathon so perhaps the speaker next year will be someone with their feet firmly on the ground.
After inflicting sticky floors and less than glamourous surroundings on our guests last year (the person who recommended the venue confessed to having been a little bit tipsy when they'd visited) it was time for something a bit, well, nicer for this year's annual Manchester reception.
And our choice of The Modern at Urbis, with it's panoramic views of the city, seemed to go down well with the city's property industry who turned out in force, despite the snow.
There was plenty to talk about, some of which may even make it into the Manchester features. The rest? Well I couldn't possibly say except that it involved a life guard and a moustache.
Here are a few pictures, we'll add the rest as they become available. You can also click here for the Manchester and North West industrial synopses.
The sausages are back! At last year's Knight Frank Central London breakfast there was much discussion about the absence of said bangers with conclusions naturally being drawn about what it indicated.
As it turned out Knight Frank's predictions for the capital's market a year ago were a little bearish with its performance better than anticipated.
And so this year everyone is reading much into the sausages return (and good sausages they were too).
The predictions (EGi subscribers can click here for the full story and video) are good too buoyed by rising take up and rental growth, a return of gazumping and tenants withdrawing surplus space from the market.
London, the packed ballroom at the Dorchester was told, should not be viewed the same as the rest of the country. The rally in the financial markets last year, increasing global trade and emerging markets' interest in using London as a business base have all helped lift the capital's property market say Knight Frank.