NewRiver occupancy rate hits record high

25th April 2024 | Jack Oliver

NewRiver recorded an occupancy rate of 98% at the end of March, a record for the real estate investment trust.

This continued an upward trend seen in 2023, with the REIT having recorded occupancy rates of 96.7% and 97.7% at the end of March and September last year respectively.

This comes as the group releases a trading update for the 2024 financial year, a period during which it completed 785,100 sq ft of leasing deals. Of those, long-term transactions were completed at 3.6% ahead of estimated rental value and 1.8% ahead of previous rent.

NewRiver recorded a tenant retention rate of 94% during the 2024 financial year, up from 92% in 2023, with an average rent of £11.82 per sq ft as of March.

The REIT has also launched the search for a new capital partner to target UK retail parks, which it said will enable it to generate rental income and asset management fees. NewRiver said that meetings had already commenced in February 2024, with early engagement described as “positive”.

Allan Lockhart, NewRiver chief executive, said: “During the fourth quarter, we have seen a continuation of the positive operational momentum that has built over recent years, which is reflective of both the steadily improving health of our underlying market and the inherent strengths of our business.”

Earlier this year, NewRiver said that the occupational market was in its best shape in five years.

Lockhart added: “Our retail portfolio, which demonstrated valuation stability in the second half of the year, is ideally positioned to benefit from consumers increasingly seeking value and convenience and the investment we have made into our specialist asset management platform means we are well placed to ramp up our Capital Partnerships activities, supported by our strong cash and liquidity position.”

As of 31 March 2024, NewRiver’s portfolio was valued at £544m. The REIT’s cash position was approximately £133m.


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