One of Britain’s biggest property companies plans to put an increased number of assets up for sale, due to a degree of “market uncertainty”, which could mean that market pricing could become more volatile.
Property company Hammerson is seeking the sale of Harbour Exchange Square, London Docklands, for £150m, and are expecting the company to be a net seller of assets for the rest of 2010.
Despite concerns about the current economic and employment situation, Hammerson is seeking pre-lets on two developments at Bishops Place and St Alphage. At Bishops Place, the company has planning consent for 650,000 sq ft of office space, but remains flexible on the number of buildings.
David Atkins, chief execute of Hammerson, said that they were progressing with the work up and design of offices, but is not actively-seeking a joint-venture partner. On the economic climate and how this would affect the market, he added that he would sell properties that “do not meet our target returns and reinvest in assets which offer better prospects”
He added, “I think as a business and a Reit (Real Estate Investment Trust), we should have a lower level of debt and gearing.
I still believe it’s right to highlight the uncertainties in the market that do remain, and that is why I am running the business with a prudent financial strategy.”
Bishops is a major new development that will focus on market regeneration, and is located in London, close to Liverpool St. Hammerson have previously developed Bishops Square in London, which has resulted in a development delivered in partnership with the local community.