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News - 03/02/2015

Agile working, Crossrail and PRS – the hot topics at the latest Reading Real Estate Network event

A record number of over 100 attendees were welcomed to the Reading Real Estate Network event, held at Reading Town Hall on Friday 23rd January.

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Nick Coote, Head of the Thames Valley for Lambert Smith Hampton, gave an overview of the Reading office market, focusing on the desire of occupiers to move towards agile work space and the effect that the ‘Crossrail’ time lag will have on investors.

The main points were…

• Modern occupiers are embracing agile working – gone are the days of individual office, now, open plan, innovative meeting areas and flexible uses of space are key

• Investment surged out to the regions in 2014 and the South East experienced the lion’s share – UK institutions were the main instigators of this

• Reading has seen unprecedented office space development in anticipation of occupier demand caused by Crossrail. It is likely that there will be a time lag, with considerable voids while demand catches up with supply

Adrian Bird, National Head of Acquisitions for Countrywide, then focused on the private rented sector – how it has grown in size and how Countrywide is getting involved

The main points were…

• The private rented sector has grown by 28% in five years

• Almost half of new homes now enter the private rented sector

• Most are owned by local individuals and there was a gap in the market for a nationwide approach

• Countrywide has teamed up with Hermes Investment Management to launch Vista

• Vista’s main target is properties outside of London and its aspiration is to hold over £1bn of residential assets across the UK in the next five to seven years

• Already, there are £275m deals in the pipeline

The Reading Real Estate Network (RREN) Group is exclusively for businesses involved in real estate in Reading, Berkshire. It encourages networking amongst members through regular events jointly hosted by Barclays Corporate, Barton Willmore, Lambert Smith Hampton and Osborne Clarke.

The next Reading Real Estate Network event will be held at 12:30 on 24th April – for more information or to attend, please contact



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