Hammerson to sell office space in Docklands

Due to the recession and uncertainties in the market, Hammerson property developers have decided to sell some of their office assets.

Hammerson, which is a FTSE 100 company, is attempting to sell the £150m Harbour Exchange Square in the London Docklands and has further plans to become a leading seller of London office space.

However with rental price increases since August 2009 and an increase of competitors there are serious concerns that the decision may come at a bad time.

This is because there is a level of uncertainty surrounding the office market, in particular how much office rental and buying prices will be in the up-coming months.

David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, said the company is assessing the value of their portfolio and intends to sell any properties that are not in keeping with their business goals.

He added, “I think as a business and a Reit (Real Estate Investment Trust), we should have a lower level of debt and gearing. I still believe it’s right to highlight the uncertainties in the market that do remain, and that is why I am running the business with a prudent financial strategy.

However some believe that there is going to be a growth in the office space rental market, as a result property companies are returning to old projects that they decided to shelve.

Mr Atkins said, that Hammerson was “progressing with the work up and design of offices” and that this meant reassessing old plans for their properties.

Once such development being at Bishopsgate, where the company already has planning permission for 650,000 sq ft of office space.