Shaftesbury Capital completed £82m worth of asset disposals between July and mid-November, as the real estate investment trust (REIT) reports a strong start to the Christmas period.
The REIT – which manages a portfolio across London’s West End – said the asset disposals were 12% ahead of its June 2023 valuation, with 5% of its total portfolio value initially identified to be recycled.
During the period, Shaftesbury Capital saw high footfall across its West End estate, with customers reporting sales in aggregate 12% above 2022 levels and 16% ahead of 2019 levels.
The REIT also said demand for its properties had remained high, with leasing activity in the second half of the year totalling 220 transactions worth £15.6m worth of rent.
In the year to date, Shaftesbury Capital completed 440 leasing transactions, representing £30.2m worth of rent. The REIT said that vacancy rates had remained low at only 2.2%.
Ian Hawksworth, Shaftesbury Capital chief executive, said: “Our excellent performance has continued into the second half, with a strong start to the Christmas trading period. The West End is one of the most vibrant global destinations with an unrivalled concentration of entertainment and cultural attractions. Footfall remains high and customer sales are tracking 12 per cent ahead of last year. There is excellent leasing momentum across all uses with 220 leasing transactions signed so far in the second half, at rents on average six per cent ahead of June 2023 ERV and a strong leasing pipeline.
“Despite the uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, our prime West End portfolio continues to demonstrate its resilience and appeal. Backed by our strong balance sheet, we look forward with confidence with a focus on delivering further growth and attractive returns as the leading central London mixed-use REIT.”
In August, the REIT reported excellent “momentum” following its inception, when Shaftesbury and Capco merged in March.