Shaftesbury, the real estate investment trust, which invests exclusively in districts at the heart of London's West End, has said that occupancy across its estate continues at “historically high levels” and demand is good for all uses. It said that trading in London's West End had been buoyant throughout the important Christmas and New Year period, with resilient visitor numbers and spending. The trust’s wholly-owned portfolio, which covers more than 12 acres of freeholds, now includes over 327 shops and 214 restaurants, cafes and bars, which together currently provide 71% of its rising income. It said that demand for restaurant and leisure accommodation continued to be strong, with a number of interesting new concepts having opened in its villages. The trust said that these new ventures were “thriving”. In the four months ended 31 January 2012, Shaftesbury acquired properties totalling £21.5m. It said that the purchases. all of which are in Soho, included 10 shops and two restaurants. It said it continued to investigate a number of potential acquisitions. Shaftesbury said that 2012 would be a year of “unique challenges and potential opportunities” for London and the West End. It said: “Hosting three major global events between June and September - the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, World Pride and the Olympics - presents many logistical and public safety challenges to an already busy and crowded city. This will lead to short term disruption to the usual patterns of life during the summer months. However these events will promote London and the West End to a global audience. “We expect our portfolio, underpinned by the West End's unique features, will continue to deliver long term out-performance in income growth and capital values.”

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