Tony McGough, global head of forecasting and strategy research at DTZ, said the sector should not rely on overseas investors to come to the rescue.
Outside London, many international investors knew about Manchester, for example, because of the football connection, and to some extent Birmingham and Edinburgh, but that was about it. They also generally look for large lot sizes and noteworthy investments – big shiny buildings.
“Consequently, the regions are a hard sell internationally,” he stated.
As to the banks’ attitude to further extending troubled loans, Mr McGough suggested many were still “hiding” their losses, hoping against hope something would change to improve the situation. But the issues surrounding such loans “could not be put off for ever”.
Of the debt overhang, he suggested secondary property could prove a worry even after prime had eventually been sorted out, which would itself take time.
Pam Craddock, research director at the Investment Property Forum, set the scene in the UK by briefing members on the results of the Lending Intentions Survey the IPF conducted at the start of the year. This indicated around £34 billion to be the likely amount of capital that could be made available for senior debt lending in 2012 by the 30 organisations that contributed.
The recently released De Montfort University survey, UK Commercial Property Lending 2011, estimates the level of property debt secured against UK commercial property to be approximately £299 billion in total, with £153 billion due to mature by the end of 2016.
For 2012, around £51 billion worth of loans will be maturing and a further £3.54 billion of commercial mortgage-backed securities. Applying the De Montfort analysis, with 20 per cent of total debt at loan to value ratios above 100 per cent and a further 20 per cent lying between 70 per cent and 100 per cent, plus the fact that the banks will only lend up to between 59 per cent and 64 per cent against prime assets, this suggests more than £20 billion of the total is incapable of refinancing on current market terms.