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Knight Frank reports record 12 months in 24-year history

ByDave Stopher

Jun 27, 2018

Property firm, Knight Frank Newcastle, reveals it has had its best 12 months’ trading in 24 years.

Turnover at the firm is up 27% percent on last year and business is showing no signs of slowing down for the remainder of 2018.

Head of Office and Partner, Peter Bowden, says the strong performance is down to healthy demand for its consultancy teams, particularly building consultancy, property management and business rates services, as well as a strong performance from its capital markets team.     

The building consultancy arm has expanded after completing work on a number of major commercial projects in 2017. These included refitting a 55,000 sq ft office headquarters, project managing several new build retail developments in County Durham and completing technical due diligence surveys on numerous large portfolios for property investors.

Ian Tew, who heads up building consultancy at Knight Frank, said: “We have seen an increase in demand for our expertise in increasing the asset values of buildings through refurbishment, new build project management and building surveys and dilapidations advice.”

To help meet the demand, the team has taken on an additional building surveyor, Wilf Prowse.

Property management

The firm’s property management department is busy after winning a national mandate to manage multi-let office buildings purchased for Mayfair Capital’s TG Thematic Growth Fund. This includes St Nicholas Building in Newcastle and a Birmingham property.

Peter Bowden, who recently accepted the Property Agent of the Year gong at Insider’s North East Property Awards, said: “We have one hell of a team here and I want to thank each and every one of them for how they’ve all pulled together to achieve what we have.

“I honestly believe we have the very best expertise on offer in the region and we work hard to offer a personal service to all our clients.”

Business Rates

Joanne Corney, who specialises in reducing business rates liability on both occupied and vacant premises, has seen her workload sky rocket in 2017 after winning several competitive pitches including the management of rates for a national portfolio of retail and office properties and some public sector contracts.

Peter comments: “Much of Joanne’s work is confidential but word of her expertise has got around and her services are now incredibly sought-after.”  

Property investments

Knight Frank’s capital markets team – Dickon Wood, Dougie Cranston and Adam Greenwood –  also had an impressive 2017, completing the most deals of any North East investment agent.

It managed 26 acquisitions and disposals of commercial property investments – totalling £110m.

The highlight of the year was the acquisition of two prime city centre office buildings, No 2 St James Gate and St Nicholas Building for a combined total of £39m on behalf of Palace Capital and Mayfair Capital.

The Newcastle team also assisted Knight Frank London on the successful disposal of a £41.8m industrial portfolio on behalf of UK Land Estates to Columbia Threadneedle.

The portfolio included 10, predominately multi let, industrial assets located throughout the North East including Sunderland, Cramlington, New York, Jarrow and Newcastle.

The portfolio had a net initial yield of 7.27%. The estates totalled 728,907 sq ft and the sale secured significant investment from a leading UK Pension Fund into the North East region.

Knight Frank also retained the agency mandate across the estates – a total of 14.2m sq ft of space with around 850 tenants.

For information, contact: Peter Bowden, peter.bowden@knightfrank.co.uk