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Bluewater Plunges In Value As Credit Crisis Bites

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The value of Bluewater, one of Britain's biggest shopping centres, has plunged by hundreds of millions of pounds in the past year, according to figures from one of its owners.

Australian property company Lend Lease, which is also developing the athletes village for the 2012 Olympics in London, said today that the value of its 30pc stake in Bluewater - a mecca for shoppers in southeast England - had fallen by £76.8m in the 12 months to June 30 to £570.6m.

The tumble in value of Bluewater in Kent underlines the weakness in Britain's commercial and residential property values since the onset of the credit crisis. Lend Lease said that it expects its UK retail business to be hit harder still in the coming months as the slowdown in financial markets continues to spread to the wider economy.

While Bluewater's value will not hit Lend Lease's profit and loss account until it sells the stake, the company is writing down A$181.7m (£85.8m) within its UK business for the year to the end of the June.

The majority of the writedowns - A$121.5m - have been made within its UK housebuilding company, Crosby Lend Lease, which is suffering from the sharp slowdown in the UK housing market along with the rest of its peers.

Lend Lease is also writing down the value of its UK retail property portfolio by $A60.2m, which contributed to a 47pc fall in the group's statutory profit after tax over year, to A$265.4m from A$497.5m.

The group warned in a trading update that it expected net operating profit after tax to be 10-15pc lower for the year to the end of June 2009, compared with the A$447.1m achieved in the year to June. Greg Clarke, Lend Lease chief executive, told analysts in Australia that he expected to update the market within three weeks on the group's progress in negotiations with the Olympic Development Authority (ODA).

Initially Lend Lease was in talks with the ODA to provide 4,200 for the Olympic Village which will be used by competing athletes in 2012 and sold on afterwards, but numbers have been scaled back by about 1,000 through the design process and in response to a slowing market.

Interesting as Bluewater is supposedly prime retail. Although the writedown hasn't hit profit and loss.

Have the banks written down commercial prop' yet investments ?

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  • 396 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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