Retail property boss warns against panic selling in commercial real estate stocks

Helen Cahill
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The head of the BCSC says the fundamentals in the industry are strong (Source: Getty)

As the sell-off in commercial real estate stocks and housebuilders continues, a retail property boss has defended the commercial property industry.

Speaking to City A.M., Edward Cooke, chief executive of the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) said: "People are panicking and thinking of their short-term interest.

"But the fundamentals in the occupier market are strong. I think it would be a brave man who would say there won't be volatility - but I'm confident companies will adjust to market conditions.

"We have a fully functioning market and well-run regulatory system. Those two fundamentals aren't different."

Mark Bourgeois, BCSC president and executive director of Capital & Regional, said US, Japanese and European funds are still looking to invest in the UK after the Brexit vote.

Read more: Commercial real estate share prices hit as future of the City looks uncertain

Bourgeois said: "I've spoken to lots of retailers, and those who have expansion plans are not changing those plans. Consumer confidence needs to stay the same - but I don't see occupation levels going backwards."

The commercial real estate sector faced a tough day of trading yesterday after Liberum analysts issued a note saying the risks in the industry had increased.

Read more: Housebuilders suffer second day of share prices falls in a row

The sell-off has continued again this morning; at time of writing, Land Securities' share price was down 4.81 per cent and British Land's share price had fallen 4.16 per cent.

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