EXPO REAL: Savills' UK lender list unchanged for first time in decade

A lack of change among the names and number of those lending to UK commercial real estate could precipitate downscaled lending activity in the future, the London-based property services firm said at the annual Expo Real conference in Munich.

Those actively lending against commercial real estate in the UK in the third quarter of 2011 remained unchanged from the previous quarter, said global property services firm Savills at the Expo Real conference in Munich this week. The firm, which publishes a list of active real estate lenders in the UK every three months, highlighted that it was the first time its list was unchanged in 10 years.

Savills includes lenders in its list that have both actively sought to lend and actually have achieved total new lending over the previous six months of at least £75 million (86 million; $114 million), deploying debt in typical loan sizes of more than £20 million. Those lenders that have met these prerequisites in the past quarter are: Aareal, Aviva, Barclays, Bayern LB, Deka Bank, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Hypo, Deutsche Pfandbrief, Eurohypo, Helaba, ING REF, Landesbank Berlin, Met Life, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Société Générále.

William Newsom, Savills UK head of valuation who leads the research, intimated that future lists may be smaller as the activity of lenders over the past quarter appeared to have become limited, although he admitted much of the evidence to support that view was anecdotal at present.

“The last three months have been a period of considerable volatility across all the financial markets, with a particular focus on the future of the Eurozone,” Newsome said. “It is significant that of the top 16 lenders, 12 are based in the Eurozone.'”

Newsome predicted that, once the economic picture in Europe became clearer, some of the European lenders on the list would be replaced by UK organisations and some of the banks would give way to insurance companies. “The next six months will be a fascinating period as we see the impact of Basel III, Greece, Vickers and bank deleveraging emerge,” he added.