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F&C sees mixed outlook for UK property

The £650m F&C Commercial Property Trust says the outlook for UK property remains uncertain.

By Jonathan Boyd, Editor-in-chief, Financial Express
Wednesday May 19, 2010

In its interim statement the company says that despite the gains seen in the past two quarters, the outlook remains fragile in a number of key markets, including the ubiquitous West End of London.

"The pace of decline has eased and rental growth for offices in both the City and West End turned positive during the period. There are signs that incentives, although still substantial, are stabilising and void rates, whilst remaining in double digits, have moved lower."

"However, there is still pressure on the income stream and with the economy projected to see modest rates of GDP growth on consensus estimates and fiscal policy set to tighten, occupier demand is expected to remain muted, cost sensitive and lease related - dampening the scope for rental growth."

The FTSE 250 listed F&C Commercial Property Trust net asset value gained 8.1 per cent on a total return basis in the period 1 January to 19 May, according to the interim statement. Its key property is held in areas such as central London, Newbury, Solihull, Uxbridge, Rochdale and Glasgow.

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