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Cash buyers sure to show interest in Larne retail unit

By John Mulgrew

Published 22/09/2015

Tesco Express in Larne
Tesco Express in Larne

A property which currently houses the Tesco Express in Larne has gone on the market with an asking price of around £575,000.

The building, which has a 20-year lease with Tesco, is located in the heart of the Co Antrim town.

The two-floor property receives annual rents of around £40,000, and extends to more than 4,500 sq ft of floor space.

It’s being marketed by commercial property firm, Osborne King.

David McClure, a director with Osborne King, said the appetite from private cash buyers “remains considerable as demand continues to outstrip supply across the Northern Ireland investment market, with fierce competition existing for well secured product up to around £1.5m”.

He said: “We also predict a further strengthening of this sector as local banks show an increasing eagerness to return to the property market in support of wealthy cash buyers and businesses. Osborne King is currently marketing 46 Main Street, Larne, a traditional high street retail unit occupied by Tesco under a 20-year lease from February 7, 2013.

“The asking price of £575,000 reflects a net initial yield of 6.58% and strong interest is anticipated from the local cash-rich investor.”

He said the sale comes after the disposal of a similar investment located on Royal Avenue in Belfast, with a private buyer paying £975,000 for the Tesco Express unit.

And in July, Osborne King also sold 56-66 Dublin Road, a ground floor retail investment let to Tesco and a local pharmacy. The property was initially brought to the market seeking offers around £2.25m, and was eventually sold to a locally based company, following competitive bidding, for £2.65m.

“So far, September has also seen a surge of activity at the top end of the sector, with Bloomfield Shopping Centre, The Outlet, Junction One, and Damolly Retail Park in Newry all coming to the market, albeit primary interest is likely to come from Great Britain-based investors and institutions,” Mr McClure said.

Newry retail park Damolly, once owned by one of Northern Ireland’s richest men, is the latest major retail location to go on the market — with an asking price of £33.5m.

It has gone on sale just five years after it was bought by its current London landlord, London Metric. The park was bought by London Metric in 2010 from Corbo, a company owned by Ballymena developer Sam Morrison.

Developed in 1999, the retail park provides over 165,000 sq ft of purpose-built retail accommodation.

It is understood the park currently has full occupancy and major tenants include B&Q, Lidl, McDonald’s and Halfords.

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