// British Land says 85% of June’s £87m rent bill has been collected, with 71% of retailers paying up
// Rent collection from March is now at 91% overall, with 85% of retail rents collected
// Footfall was at 86% of pre-pandemic levels and sales at 94% of pre-Covid heights
British Land has revealed a significant boost in rent collection from retailers since stores have reopened as lockdown restrictions eased.
Bosses at the commercial property developer said 85 per cent of June’s £87 million rent bill has been collected, with 71 per cent of retailers paying up. It is split between £44 million from offices and £43 million from retail.
This was 24 percentage points ahead of the same point in December and 17 percentage points ahead of the collections for the first three months of the year, when non-essential retailers and restaurants were closed amid the third nationwide lockdown.
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Rent collection from March is now at 91 per cent overall, with 85 per cent of retail rents collected.
According to British Land, footfall was at 86 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in the seven weeks since the reopening of indoor hospitality on May 17, with sales at 94 per cent of pre-Covid heights.
It added that retail parks were outperforming, with customers preferring to drive to shopping locations currently.
Shopping centres were the poorest performers, with footfall at 74.8 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
As a result, the values of British Land’s retail parks rose 0.7 per cent in the second quarter of the year.
The company recently expanded its footprint in the retail sub-sector with the £82 million purchase of Thurrock Shopping Park in Essex.
“With lockdown restrictions lifting, we have seen a notable improvement in activity across our markets and our business is performing well,” British Land chief executive Simon Carter said.
“On our retail parks, footfall and sales are close to pre pandemic levels, rents are stabilising with recent deals… and there are indications that retail park values are starting to rise as more investors target the market.”
He also revealed the company has seen a surge in demand for flexible office space, as businesses look to introduce hybrid working.
with PA Wires