LONDON-Over £740 million ($1.09 billion) was invested in UK shopping malls during the first half of 2001, compared with just over £415 million ($610 million) in the preceding six months. But activity is still subdued compared with the long-term average of £1.18 billion ($1.73 billion) per half year.

According to the British Retail Consortium, the volume of retail sales is holding up well with year on year growth of over 6%. However, investors are concerned about retailers’ profitability and, by implication, their ability to sustain rental growth. Many retailers have put expansion plans on hold. The amount of space available within the retail market has increased as retailers rationalise space requirements in order to cut costs.

According to DTZ around 60% of all shopping centre investment activity this year has been channelled through investment vehicles such as limited partnerships or unit trusts. Such vehicles allow smaller funds to participate in the performance of large assets like shopping centres without distorting their risk profiles.

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