Retail rents

There was a rather bullish piece in the FT Lex on Monday about the prospects for Hammerson as a shopping centre developer and investor.  They point to a benign retail environment

A buoyant jobs market and lower fuel costs – in effect, a tax cut for consumers – should underpin retail sales and keep shopping centres busy.

It will be interesting to see whether the IPF Consensus Forecasts (due out soon) show any change in expected retail rental growth.  There were quite low forecasts for the sector in the November survey.  With structural drivers such as ‘peak stuff’, online shopping, ageing populations, potential deflation etc. not to mention the increases in the minimum wage, it’s hard to see retailers getting profit windfalls and starting to bid up rents.

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