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Land Securities Says Vacancy Rates Declined on New Tenants

January 24, 2012

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Land Securities Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest real estate investment trust by value, said vacancies at it properties fell after attracting tenants including CBRE Global Investors.

The vacancy rate for like-for-like assets declined to 3.1 percent for the quarter ending Dec. 31 from 3.3 percent in the three months through September, according to a statement by the London-based company today. The rate includes 0.9 percent of temporarily leased space and excludes 0.6 percent where the tenant is restructuring.

U.K. commercial-property prices fell for the second month in December as demand for assets in all but the best locations dropped amid concern that the country is slipping into recession. The average value of stores, offices and warehouses declined 0.1 percent in December from a year earlier with retail properties falling 0.2 percent to lead the decline, Investment Property Databank Ltd. said Jan. 16. The vacancy rate for retail units owned by Land Securities rose to 3.4 percent from 3.3 percent at the end of September, it said.

“We have continued to make progress in the period, having completed a number of development lettings and further reduced void levels on our portfolio,” Chief Executive Officer Francis Salway said in a statement. “As is to be expected in a period of economic uncertainty, letting transactions are taking longer to execute.”

Salway will step down as CEO on March 31, the company said in a separate statement. He will be replaced by Robert Noel, currently managing director of the company’s London portfolio.

Land Securities has been the second best-performing U.K. REIT since Nov. 10 when it said the value of its development properties gained including the office tower nicknamed the Walkie Talkie in the City of London financial district.

--Editors: Jeffrey St.Onge, Ross Larsen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at

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