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GRIF update over doubling ground rents

02 August 2017 09:18

Ground Rents Income Fund - a listed real estate investment trust investing in UK ground rents - had noted recent attention in the media regarding ground rents and the launch by the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, of a consultation on proposals to amend leasehold legislation. GRIF said that attention has been focused on leasehold houses, which account for 11% by income of its portfolio, and, in particular, leaseholds with ground rents that double perpetually every 10 years, of which the company has none. GRIF, which was launched in 2012, said it had acquired a diversified portfolio of ground rents, valued at £143 million at 31 March, which provided a secure and consistent stream of income to investors.

It said: "Most of the company's portfolio (69.8% by income) is invested in ground rents which increase annually in line with indices, particularly the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

"Of the remainder, 18% by value and 17% by ground rent income is attributed to doubling ground rents, of which 4% of the ground rent income is derived from three 10-year doubling assets.

"None of these three assets with 10-year doubling ground rents do so in perpetuity - they double a maximum of three times before reverting to having either no further review or an index-linked review cycle.

"The rest of the doubling assets in the portfolio are 25, 33, 35 and 50-year doubling assets, which equate to compound increases in rent of 2.8%, 2.1%, 2.0% and 1.4% per annum respectively.

"Of the total number of units in the portfolio, 15% are houses, which generate 11% of total ground rent income. The average ground rent on the leasehold houses is approximately £110 per annum and none are subject to 10-year doubling review patterns.

"The ground rents on 66.7% by income of the leasehold houses adjust in line with indices, with only 2.7% containing doubling reviews on a 25-year review pattern. The balance of 30.6% is split between leaseholds with fixed adjustments (3.6%) and those which do not increase (27.0%)."

GRIF said the board, in conjunction with the investment manager, was considering asset management options for certain ground rents within the portfolio, reflecting concerns raised by the Government. The board reiterated its belief, previously stated in the company's 31 March unaudited NAV announcement on 12 June, that as a result of recent market sentiment the value of the doubling assets within the portfolio might now be worth approximately £5.5 to £6.0 million less than as at 31 March.

This would lead to an NAV per share of approximately 132 pence. The company said it would provide a further update once it had received the next scheduled valuation of the portfolio by Savills, its external valuer, as at 30 September 2017. Investment director of Brooks Macdonald Funds, alternative investment fund manager to GRIF, James Agar, said: "We welcome the Government's consultation, which will lead to clarity on leasehold and ground rent structures.

"We will in due course submit our own response to the consultation, which will be available to view on our website.

"We are committed to being a socially-responsible landlord, working hard to treat all leaseholders in a simple, honest and transparent manner."

At 9:18am: (LON:GRIO) Ground Rents Income Trust share price was +0.75p at 119.5p

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Related Company: GRIO

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