News: UK-based investor Topland Group has purchased St Marks Place Shopping Centre in Newark-On-Trent in Nottinghamshire, UK from The Oakgate Group for GBP20mn (USD33.73mn). The acquisition was completed on April 30. Parts of the open air scheme are Grade II listed. The 114,500 square feet asset has a weighted average unexpired lease term of about seven years. This is Topland's second acquisition in the sector.
BMI View : A rise in capital growth has spurred the already healthy project pipeline present in the UK's real estate sector, with shopping centres opening up and down the country. This is an especially positive move, as the number of retail openings witnessed and in the pipeline flies in the face of critics who claim the high street is in decline. This is driving up rents, with London leading the charge; Old Bond Street continue to be the most expensive shopping street in Europe, boasting rent of GBP804/sq ft per year. Areas such as Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Birmingham have also seen new shopping centres opening in 2013, ensuring that investment is more evenly dispersed throughout the country, rather than being solely focused on the 'trophy assets' of London and the South East.