Hills or Flats | Market Inertia? | Christmas Singalong

Voting has been very much the story of the week, whether it be for King Harry Redknapp in I’m A Celebrity, the pulled Parliamentary Brexit vote or, of course, the vote of confidence in Prime Minister, Theresa May. An alternative (and quicker) way of resolving these matters could have been to simply flip a coin, but even this time-honoured method has been making headlines this week. Firstly, there was Donald Trump using a bizarre technique to toss the coin before the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, prompting questions on social media whether the President billionaire had ever actually handled coinage before! And then it was announced that the Big Bash Cricket League in Australia will be dispensing with the traditional toss of a coin to determine which team gets to choose whether to bat or bowl first. Instead it will be decided by the flip of a cricket bat! No longer will it be heads or tails called by the captains, but rather ‘hills or flats’. And for those Weekly readers who would advocate a game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’ to settle things, beware. A football referee was recently suspended for three weeks for deciding a Women’s Super League match kick-off using this method, having left his coin in the dressing room! David McNamara was found guilty of ‘not acting in the best interests of the game’!

In what is the penultimate edition of The Weekly for 2018, it seems appropriate to relay the key messages emanating out of CBRE’s December 2018 UK Property Yields Report. None of the headlines come as a great surprise, especially the reported thin demand for traditional retail assets, rapidly reducing retail rents and softer yields (up 50 bps y-o-y) all of which continue to pull down capital values across every retail sub-sector. Industrial yields look to have stabilised (as rental growth overtakes as the driver for growth), ending the year at 4.50% (for a prime distribution unit). Investor demand remains particularly strong for London and South East assets, with more stock available in the office sector than the other sectors, although much of this is not likely to transact until next year. Despite this, early indications are that Q4 will deliver another strong quarter volumes wise, taking the UK total to circa £60bn for 2018. What’s going to happen in Q1 2019, and beyond, is still anyone’s guess, but inertia rather than material price corrections is our current thinking.

Given there is little over a week now to go, The Weekly is happy to discuss the ‘C’ word. Many of us will have bought our tree, attended the nativity play, wrapped the presents, nursed the hangover and started worrying about the in-laws coming to stay. We may even have reached the stage where we think it’s acceptable to listen to songs by Slade, Shakin’ Stevens, Mariah Carey or The Pogues. Okay, maybe not, but whether we'd admit it or not, we can all sing along! Despite the massive changes to the UK’s music industry over the last twenty years, the staples of our Christmas playlists have remained practically the same. Not even pop megastars such as Justin Bieber, Coldplay or Beyonce have succeeded – so much so that out of seventeen of the Christmas songs which currently feature in the UK Top 40, fifteen were originally released more than twenty years ago. Why? Fundamentally it comes down to tradition. We all have things we like at Christmas and nothing will shift us off them. For example, every year, we complain about the turkey being dry. But every year, the UK eats 10 million turkeys! Slade’s Noddy Holder and Jim Lea aren’t complaining though. Our nostalgia and fondness of tradition sees them each take home £500,000 annually, from a song that was number one in the UK charts in both 1973 and 1989!