British shopping centers investment volumes grew 70 percent to 4.58 billion pounds in 2013, up from 2.7 billionpounds in 2012, according to a recent analysis released by Savills Research, international real estate services firm.
The firm has previously predicted shopping centers investment volumes to rise to 4.5 billion pounds by the end of 2013, forecasting significant interest in inner-city shopping centers. Nick Hart, director of investment at Savills commented: "The retail and shopping center market has seen incredibly strong investor interest over the past 12 months."
Over the past year, 84 retail centers in the UK changed owners. Some of the most prominent transactions included the sale of shopping centers in Elephant & Castle in London for 80 million pounds and King Edwards Court in Windsor for 102 million pounds. Other outstanding undertakings included the acquisition of Royal exchange in London for 83.5 million pounds and the acquisition of 50 percent of the MK center in Milton Keys for 260 million pounds.
Mark Garmon -Jones, another director of investment at Savills, added: "After witnessing last year's success, the market for shopping centers has experienced a solid start to 2014. There are currently 18 shopping centers, with a total value of 1.35 billion pounds actively being traded at this time, with an additional 13 shopping centers, with a total value of 1.7 billion pounds currently for sale and roughly 22 shopping centers are currently being prepared for sale."
Savills has also recently been named managing agent of the Elephant & Castle shopping center in London by Delancey and APG. The 372,000 square foot shopping center is located in the area of Southwark, near retailers such as Tesco, WH Smith and Superdrug.
Helen McVie, retail asset manager at Delancey commented: "Delancey and APG are committed to the development at Elephant & Castle, with plans to enhance the shopping centre which will complement the existing residential-led development at Tribeca Square. We believe Savills, with a wealth of experience in retail management, was an obvious choice and will help us to achieve our aspirations."