Retail park popularity prevails with investors

Unite Group has confirmed its £31.5m purchase of one of the largest student housing schemes with planning consent in central London

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership placed Invista Real Estate’s Hermiston Gait retail park under offer at £65m, reflecting a yield of 6.75%, well above the £63.5m asking price.

Wilky Fund Management, acting for Associated British Foods Pension Trustees, has bought Brook Retail Park in Clacton-on-Sea from Aviva Investors Property Trust for £11.5m.

Tenants include B&Q and Currys. The annual rent of £1.021m at the 72,800 sq ft park equates to £13.50/sq ft.

The purchase price, including costs, reflects a net initial yield of 8.46%.

Brook Retail Park is Associated British Foods’ first purchase since allocating new funds to property in February.

Wilky consultant fund manager Kevin Seville said it has a further £10m to invest in industrial assets.

Aviva Investors is also in talks to sell its retail park in Wellingborough to Threadneedle.

Last week, Hercules Unit Trust exchanged contracts on the sale of four retail parks generating £166m.

Hercules now has up to £470m to invest in the sector. It has sold £378m of assets this year, to reduce its loan-to-value ratio to 32%.

Whitmarsh Holt Young acted for Associated British Foods; Edgerley Simpson Howe acted for Aviva Investors Property Trust; Wilkinson Williams and CB Richard Ellis are advising on the Hermiston Gate sale.