Norwich City Council is seeking to improve the performance of its portfolio through rationalisation by selling poor performers and acquiring assets which will improve net income yields and reduce non-recoverable costs and obsolescence.
Initially the report reviewed the UK investment market and the Council’s existing approach to investment property acquisition.
The report identified various risks to income including declining rental levels, a lack of rental growth, tenant default, non-recoverable expenditure, and erratic rents. It was explained that these can be mitigated to an extent by judicious purchases and active asset management.
Various characteristics of assets were identified which would detract from the income generating objectives and it was recommended that properties exhibiting these factors should be rejected to avoid failing to meet targets and incurring unnecessary risks.
Matrices of criteria to be reviewed to guide decision making when considering purchases were suggested, reflecting sectoral differences. The criteria included macro and micro-location, specification, obsolescence, configuration, sustainability, yield profile, planning, repair, and active asset management opportunities. Examples of properties available in the market were assessed according to the criteria.
The report also assessed the income generating performance of properties at differing initial yields.
The report highlighted the need to be able to act quickly to take advantage of opportunities when they arose without delay and it recommended a nine-point plan to achieve the Council’s objectives.