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Shopping centres offer rich pickings for investors

Investors ploughed the largest amount of money into UK shopping centres in almost a decade last year with still more expected this year, according to property adviser CBRE. £5.6bn worth of transactions were completed on UK shopping centres in 2014, a third higher than in 2013 and well above the ten-year average of £4bn. Prominent among deals was Land Securities paying almost £700m for a 30% stake in Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. It intends to reduce the vacancy rate by combining units to make fewer, bigger stores. CBRE spokesman Rhodri Davies said: 'The improved economic outlook has boosted confidence that the worst of the retail failures are behind us and an increased appetite for space among retailers is likely to drive growth. We expect 2015 to match, if not surpass, the numbers seen in 2014.' Meanwhile, Colliers International said rents for the best shops in Britain rose 1.9% in the year to June, although they remain 12% below their pre-crisis peak.

 

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