CRT property value ‘may fall’
THE CANAL & RIVER Trust’s commercial investments have been given an overall clean bill of health by the Protector – but he has flagged-up an uncertain future.
The Trust owns some £750m of commercial property (for example, from waterside business developments) which brings in something of the order of £ 50m a year in rentals, in addition to any profits from buying and selling property.
Under the terms of the 2012 transfer from the nationalised British Waterways to the charitable sector, the Protector is appointed jointly by the Government and the Trust to check that Returns are maximised without taking undue risk The value increases in real terms Proceeds are used consistently with CRT’s objectives Risk is managed consistently with CRT’s obligations The Protector’s latest annual report notes that the value increased from £714.8m to £752.7m; that properties sold realised 54 percent above their value at the start of the period; and that the total return, at 13.7 percent, beat the market figure of 11.1 percent.
On the downside, the part of CRT’s investments which had been moved away from property (as part of diversification plans) lost 2.8 percent of its value; property results were down on the previous two years’ good results (although still ahead of forecast); and following the EU vote, there are concerns that the property market may suffer.
Despite this, the significant proportion of CRT income coming from long-duration low-risk ground rents would be expected to cushion the impact of such a fall.