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Aviva Investors acquires Dutch logistics portfolio

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Union Investment has sold a logistics portfolio comprising two assets in the Netherlands for an undisclosed sum. In Nijmegen, a 35,000m² distribution centre located at Bijsterhuizen 1127 was sold to its tenant while in Eindhoven, a 64,000m² warehouse was sold to Aviva Investors.

 

The contemporary warehouse property in Nijmegen was designed by local architect firm Schreven BV, constructed between 1997 and 2000, and features 10 – 14.5 meters clear height and up to 5,000 kg/m² floor load capacity. It is fully leased to a worldwide courier, who purchased the property for its own use.

 

The Eindhoven facility is located within the logistics distribution centre ‘Acht’ in Eindhoven, situated close to both the A2 and A67 motorways and the city’s international airport, whilst also being adjacent to one of the main railroad arteries which provides direct access to the Rotterdam harbour.

 

Stephan Riechers, Head of Investment Management Logistics & Light Industrial at Union Investment, said: “The transaction follows our recent acquisition of a Pan-European logistics portfolio that contained these assets. They were sold as they did not align with the strategy of our open-ended real estate fund UniImmo: Europa. We typically focus on new developments, new builds and existing properties built in the last 10 years. The transaction was a good opportunity to optimize the fund’s portfolio.”

 

Douglas van Oers, Director and Co-Head Logistics & Industrial at Savills in the Netherlands, said: “The logistics real estate stock in the Netherlands grew by 3 million m² in 2020, while the vacancy rate fell from 6.1% to 5.6%, indicating continued interest in logistics real estate. In 2020, over 2.6 million m² of logistics real estate was leased and this ongoing demand is causing rents in many regions to rise. The Eindhoven asset aligned perfectly with Aviva Investors’ desire to invest in strategically important locations for their European logistics portfolio, and the asset management opportunities of this particular property caught their interest.”

 

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Homes you can let in the top 10 UK rental hotspots revealed

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The rental shortage hotspots have been revealed, with the Isle of Wright, West Devon and Cornwall leading the way.

Rental shortages are so acute that in some towns and villages in these areas, there is only one property available to rent.

In the West Devon market town of Tavistock, for example, the only property listed on Rightmove to rent is a basement studio flat costing £460 a month. 

The rental shortage hotspots have been revealed, with the Isle of Wright, West Devon and Cornwall leading the way

The rental shortage hotspots have been revealed, with the Isle of Wright, West Devon and Cornwall leading the way

In other areas, the listings are reading that ‘viewings are fully booked’ within a day of the property being advertised online.

Rightmove’s findings were based on more than 400,000 rental listings in June and July this year and comparing them to the same period two years ago.

It revealed the true extent of a lack of homes to rent compared to pre-pandemic levels, with the Isle of Wight topping the list with a fall of 82 per cent in available rental stock.

We have picked a property in each of the top 10 rental shortage hotspots to provide a snapshot of what is on offer to rent in each of these locations. (Scroll down for the selection of property listings.)

The Rightmove research did not analyse what type of homes were hardest hit – such as a flat or family homes – and instead focused on locations only.

The areas with the biggest reduction in stock compared to the summer of 2019 are in seaside locations and holiday resorts.

The only property to rent in the West Devon market town of Tavistock is a basement studio flat costing £460 a month

The only property to rent in the West Devon market town of Tavistock is a basement studio flat costing £460 a month

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘Landlords in the typical tourist destinations around Britain have been chasing the huge surge in demand for holiday lets this summer, which has led to a temporary drop in the stock available for permanent tenants.

‘However, as the summer holidays are coming to an end, agents are now reporting more landlords turning their attention to longer-term tenants as a more secure and stable option for the rest of the year and into 2022.

 Landlords in the typical tourist destinations around Britain have been chasing the huge surge in demand for holiday lets this summer

Tim Bannister – Rightmove 

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: ‘As the commitment to commute has declined, so has demand to live in coastal or country areas increased. 

‘Others have enjoyed being by the seaside so much they have turned temporary stays into more permanent ones.

‘The result has been an increase in demand, which supply has struggled to match, particularly recently in the staycation season. Other owners have taken refuge in the short let and Airbnb market, which also kept longer-term rental stock levels down.

‘Although traditionally September and October are the busiest months for rentals, the demand and supply imbalance is likely to continue at least until the end of the year when poorer weather should dampen demand to the extent that rents will inevitably soften.’

Properties to rent in ‘shortage hotspots’… 

1. Three-bed semi-detached house, Isle of Wight, £895 per calendar month

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Brading on the Isle of Wight is available for rent for £895

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Brading on the Isle of Wight is available for rent for £895

This property on the Isle of Wight is available to rent for £895 a month via letting agents Hose Rodes Dickson.

It is in the town of Brading, on the east of the island, and within reach of the railway station and main bus routes.

It is semi-detached, unfurnished and has three bedrooms. It is available to rent from October 18.

2. Three-bed semi-detached, North Devon, £975 pcm

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Fremington, North Devon, is for rent for £975 a month

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in Fremington, North Devon, is for rent for £975 a month

This North Devon home is in the village of Fremington, three miles west of Barnstaple.

It has three bedrooms, a driveway and a single garage. It is available to rent to non-smokers without pets. 

It is being let for £975 a month by letting agents Phillips, Smith & Dunn. It is available to rent from September 20.

3. Studio flat, West Devon, £460 pcm

This basement studio in is the only property in Tavistock available to rent on Rightmove

This basement studio in is the only property in Tavistock available to rent on Rightmove

This basement studio flat costing £460 a month is currently the only property available to rent on Rightmove for tenants looking in West Devon’s Tavistock.

It is two minutes from Tavistock town centre and includes a garden and off-street parking. It is available via letting agents Mashroom.

4. Four-bed house, Northumberland, £1,500 pcm

This detached house in Northumberland has four bedrooms and is available to rent for £1,500 a month

This detached house in Northumberland has four bedrooms and is available to rent for £1,500 a month

This four-bedroom unfurnished farmhouse is in the countryside near Gunnerton in Northumberland.

The detached property includes a large front garden, outbuildings and a half acre paddock. It is available to rent for £1,500 a month via letting agents Galbraith.

5. Three-beds, Blackpool, £650 pcm

Viewings on this property to rent in Blackpool are 'now fully booked', according to the listing on Rightmove

Viewings on this property to rent in Blackpool are ‘now fully booked’, according to the listing on Rightmove

Within a day of this three-bedroom property in Blackpool being advertised online, the listed read that viewings ‘now fully booked’.

The rental is being handled by Tiger letting agents and the semi-detached property is being let for £650 a month.

6. Three-bed detached house, Torridge, £925 pcm

This detached home in Torridge has three bedrooms and is for rent for £925 a month

 This detached home in Torridge has three bedrooms and is for rent for £925 a month

This three-bedroom home is in Milton Damerel, in the local government district of Torridge in North Devon.

It is available to rent via letting agents Kivells, from September 20 and is unfurnished. It has been recently decorated and costs £925 a month.

7. Three-bed semi-detached house, South Tyneside, £620 pcm

This family home in Hebburn has three bedrooms and is available to rent for £620 a month

This family home in Hebburn has three bedrooms and is available to rent for £620 a month

This semi-detached home is in the town of Hebburn, on the south bank of the River Tyne.

It is available immediately and is being rented unfurnished via letting agents Reeds Rain. It has three bedrooms and a enclosed garden.

8. Three-bed detached house, Neath, £950 pcm

This award-winning rental home has three bedrooms and costs £950 a month

This award-winning rental home has three bedrooms and costs £950 a month 

This detached chalet bungalow is in the village of Crynant, in Wales’ Neath.

The property won the LABC Cymru award for Best Individual New House and the NPRCB Building Excellence Award for 2020.

It has three bedrooms and costs £950 a month to rent via letting agents Payton Jewell Caines. However, the listing online had set a deadline of September 15 at 5pm for tenants to apply.

9. Three-bed cottage, Cornwall, £950 pcm

This Cornish cottage is costs £950 a month to rent and is available either furnished or unfurnished

This Cornish cottage is costs £950 a month to rent and is available either furnished or unfurnished

This cottage in Cornwall’s St Just includes a feature fireplace, three bedrooms and an enclosed garden.

It is available to rent for £950 pcm via letting agents Marshall’s, and is available either furnished or unfurnished.

10. Three-bed semi-detached house, North Tyneside, £800

This family home is in the village of Shiremoor in Newcastle Upon Tyne and costs £800 a month to rent

This family home is in the village of Shiremoor in Newcastle Upon Tyne and costs £800 a month to rent

This semi-detached family home is in the large village of Shiremoor in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

It has three bedrooms and is available to rent via letting agents Your Move for £800 a month. It is available immediately and is unfurnished.

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Bitter and personal exchanges as Coveney survives Dáil confidence vote

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The Government survived a bruising opening to the new Dáil term on Wednesday night when TDs voted confidence in the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, after a debate that was often bitter, fractious and personal.

The Government won the vote by 92 votes to 59, its majority bolstered significantly by the support of several Independent TDs.

But Fianna Fáil suffered the loss of the Sligo-Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry, who announced his resignation from the parliamentary party hours before the debate and voted against the Government.

In his resignation letter Mr MacSharry, a longtime and vocal critic of party leader Micheál Martin, said that Fianna Fáil was behaving “in a fashion consistent with an undemocratic totalitarian regime rather than that of a democratic socialist republican party of and for the people”.

Abandoned appointment

The debate on the Sinn Féin no-confidence motion, prompted by the Government’s handling of the abandoned appointment of former minister Katherine Zappone as a UN special envoy, quickly became bitter and personal in tone, with Fine Gael and Sinn Féin TDs trading barbs and insults across the floor of the Dáil.

Sinn Féin TDs accused the Government of “cronyism” and “abuse of office”. During the debate, the Cavan-Monaghan TD Matt Carthy claimed it was Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris who leaked the proposed appointment of Ms Zappone during the Cabinet meeting in July.

A spokeswoman for Mr Harris said later “this was a clear misuse of Dáil privilege and it is untrue”.

Strong defence

Ministers and Government TDs conducted a strong defence of Mr Coveney, and a fierce counter-attack on Sinn Féin. The Taoiseach told the Dáil that Sinn Féin said it had brought the motion because the party was “not prepared to look the other way”. But he said “looking the other way” has been the “defining response for Sinn Féin in many more sinister issues” and he highlighted cases where the party appointed its own members to roles in office.

In comments echoed by many Fine Gael TDs, former minister Richard Bruton said Sinn Féin “seeks to destroy Simon Coveney’s career to create a political platform to attack every party that is part of this Government”.

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Reshuffle exposes emptiness of Johnson’s vision for Britain

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Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle was more comprehensive than many at Westminster expected and more brutal in its treatment of ministers who have been loyal to him. But the prime minister is still surrounded mostly by ministerial mediocrities and the latest moves will not be enough to give his government a clear purpose after Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.

The biggest loser was Dominic Raab, the humiliation of whose demotion from foreign secretary to justice secretary was amplified, if anything, by his success in persuading Johnson to name him deputy prime minister. If being vice-president is, as John Nance Garner’s words “not worth a bucket of warm spit”, the constitutionally empty title of deputy prime minister is a public declaration of its holder’s political failure.

Incoming foreign secretary Liz Truss is a former Remainer who has become the cabinet’s most ardent champion of the opportunities of Brexit, real or imagined. Hugely popular among the Conservative party membership, her cheerful energy will be welcome at the foreign office where diplomats despaired of Raab’s gloomy, micro-managing style.

Truss’s hawkish approach to China will reinforce hardliners in Downing Street who want to use a pivot to the Indo-Pacific to show that Britain remains an important defence player despite the performance of its forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The most interesting move is Michael Gove’s from the cabinet office to the housing and communities ministry with responsibility for local government. Gove will remain in charge of the government’s policy on the Union and gains a new role running Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda.

The appointment demonstrates how Gove, despite his betrayal of Johnson during the 2016 Conservative leadership election, remains the most indispensable figure in government. But it also highlights the lack of talent around the cabinet table and in the junior ministerial ranks that has made it necessary for one minister to take on so many crucial roles.

Johnson shied away from moving Priti Patel, who has managed to be both authoritarian and utterly ineffective as home secretary. And he missed an opportunity by leaving Brandon Lewis in place as Northern Ireland Secretary, a role in which he is woefully miscast.

What the reshuffle has exposed most of all is the fact that the cabinet’s biggest problem is not the weakness of many ministers, which is incontestable, but the emptiness where the prime minister’s vision for Britain after Brexit ought to be, which may be irredeemable.

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