Nicol Dynes, Dan Innes, Paul Strohm and Richard Betts
In the spotlight this week
The UK residential-to-buy sector received a budget boost from Chancellor Rishi Sunak who wants “generation rent” to become “generation buy”: the 95% mortgage has resurfaced for the first time since the GFC and the covid Stamp Duty holiday has been extended – beware of bubble territory say some. Eight new freeports, in which tax, customs and planning will be much easier than outside, were also announced.
Other sectors are planning for growth and hospitality has caught the attention of a number of investors such as Invesco, Blackstone and LaSalle Investment Management. And, while listing plans for private members’ club Soho House are back on, US-based Ardent has established a UK investment drive with $230 million available for acquisitions.
In the retail sector, Amazon has opened its first Just Walk Out grocery store in the UK in west London’s Ealing. More are on the way.
Elsewhere, a spate of development announcements demonstrates positive signs across Europe. While Patrizia is creating an office-led business district in Berlin, Catella has bought an office development in Luxembourg, DWS is forward funding a large office building in Barcelona and Qatari Diar is turning London’s former US Embassy into a five-star hotel. Mark, meanwhile, has just opened a pre-let luxury shopping scheme in Paris’s Golden Triangle and says city centre retail does have a future.
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