Investors returning to prime assets

Investors are returning to snap up offices in prime positions with good covenants after a quiet 2010, according to Michael Blakey, head of property at Hill Dickinson in Manchester.

Hill Dickinson has been involved in arguably the three biggest investment transactions that have taken place in the first half of the year. These are the sale of Zenith Building in Spring Gardens by Wrather Group to Henderson Global Investors, and the acquisition and disposal of 55 Spring Gardens by law firm Linder Myers.

We believe that the investment market for prime space in Manchester is still very attractive. There are funds in London and overseas looking with confidence at Manchester, which other cities outside London cannot claim.

Manchester has the occupier base and covenants that put it head and shoulders above any other city. It does remain the case that purchasers are looking at covenant strength as the key to a deal and largely in the core of the city centre.

The prime market has held up remarkably well in Manchester and will only get stronger as major investment by BBC and Peel at Media City UK, Manchester Airport, the Co-operative Group and Manchester City FC gather pace.

The half-year review is published in association with Hill Dickinson and Crowe Clark Whitehill.

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