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Hammerson cautious on the UK property market

Property giant Hammerson has today issued a statement in relation to the worldwide, as specifically the UK, property market with a suggestion that we are not yet "out of the woods". The company owns a raft of leading shopping malls and while the retail sector is on the whole still struggling, those companies which have come through the worst of the recession are now beginning to see the light.

During the depths of the economic downturn a number of rent reviews were undertaken as it became more obvious that many retailers were struggling to survive. As a consequence, a number of retailers saw their rent charges reduced and this together with the fact that many competitors have fallen by the wayside has led to a short-term pickup in sentiment and trading levels. However, the next stage of the economic upturn will be consumer spending led although at this moment in time it is proving difficult to forecast when consumers will decide to put their hands back in their pockets.

While there is no doubt that we have seen the worst of the fire sales in the UK property sector a number of companies are still struggling financially and we will see a raft of asset sales as the market turns upwards.

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