Better debt liquidity helps seal wave of regional deals

Wider debt availability is helping to close the sales of a string of regional property portfolios before the end of the year. Barclays is thought to be financing Harwood Real Estate’s acquisition of a £120m portfolio of 41 assets sold by the Co-op Group, while Deutsche Pfandbriefbank has lent to US investor Harbert, which bought seven retail warehouses from Aviva Investors.

Harbert paid about £92m – over the asking price – for the assets in Aviva’s Diamond portfolio, reflecting a 7.5% yield. CLS Holdings this month financed its £118.6m purchase of the Neo portfolio through a secured, £80m bond with a coupon of 4.17%, which was placed with one UK institution.

Other sales just completed include Apollo’s acquisition of Project Moon, a 135-property secondary and tertiary portfolio from Aviva Commercial Finance, while Kennedy Wilson picked up Glanmore’s 15-asset Tiger package.

Savills’ investment director Peter Cooper-Parry said: “Debt availability has made a huge difference. A year ago you would have scrabbled around to think of anybody who would lend on regional portfolios. At best it would have been extremely challenging.”