Savills: Cheshire Oaks sale dominates Q3 retail deals

The sale by McArthur Glenn of a portfolio of outlet centres including Cheshire Oaks near Ellesmere Port was the stand-out deal of a slow third quarter for shopping centre investment, according to Savills.

Savills said Q3 2008 showed £491.2m transacted in five deals with an average initial yield of 6.64%. This compared with £1.6bn of deals in the same three months of 2007.

The McArthur Glenn sale of Swindon, Bridgend and Cheshire Oaks centres to Henderson accounted for £364.5m of the total, at 7.1% net initial yield.

Nick Hart, director of Savills, said: "Transactional volumes are significantly down on Q3 07. The current global financial crisis has created deep uncertainty in the debt markets and this is reflected in the number of deals done. There is almost a total illiquidity on the market.

"It is likely that it will be early next year before we see improved activity and even then this may well only be at the prime end where yields could have moved out by as much as 200 basis points from historic highs of October 2006. It is likely that the Sovereign Wealth Funds and overseas money will start to circle the UK market."

The first three quarters of this year saw £1.362bn of deals in 23 transactions, average 6.23% initial yield. This compared to £4.46bn for the same period last year.

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