The Birmingham-based & AIM-listed Real Estate Investors (REI) have stated that they are “well positioned” to capitalise on property opportunities caused by the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
As revealed in the firm’s trading update earlier this morning, REI is gearing up to take advantage of the Governments plans to invest heavily in the region ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Coventry City of Culture and HS2.
REI chief executive Paul Bassi said: “In June 2019, the Government announced its plans to invest £778 million in Birmingham and the West Midlands in advance of staging the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“As the UK’s only Midlands-focused and Birmingham-based Real Estate Investment Trust, REI is well positioned to capitalise on any opportunities that major events, infrastructure and development projects will bring to the already vibrant Midlands region.
“We have monitored the availability of criteria compliant assets to add to our portfolio, yet have seen limited opportunities over the last 6 months. REI has £25 million of cash and available bank facilities and is therefore well positioned to secure assets during H2, to add to the existing £225 million portfolio (as at 31 December 2018).
“With the benefit of our network we remain confident in our ability to add to our Midlands ownership.”
REI currently has a portfolio of 1.53 million square feet of commercial property across all sectors in the Midlands, boasting a 96.2% occupancy rate.
The Real Estate Investment Trust’s office sector represents 39% of their portfolio, and along with a series of shrewd investments, is helping REI to protect itself from the wider issues affecting the UK’s retail industry.
In the last 12 months, REI has completed eight lease renewals and 14 new lettings covering nearly 70,000 sq ft, as well as agreeing on five-year lease extensions to the NHS at Westgate House, Warwick, and Kingston House, West Bromwich, for a combined retail income of £553,258 per annum.
Despite the Brexit impasse stalling commercial property investment in the Midlands, REI is experiencing continuous demand from occupiers across multiple sectors.
Mr Bassi concluded by highlighting the continuing opportunities for REI stating: “We are diversified, stable and opportunistic with strong occupancy across the portfolio.”
Bassi added: “Significant permitted development opportunities for conversion to residential have been identified within the portfolio and we remain focused on extracting these embedded and undervalued opportunities, against a continuously strong regional housing market.
“Existing revenues, combined with income from opportunistic value-add acquisitions, will further underpin dividend growth, which has now enjoyed six consecutive years of growth.”