1/19/2022 | Hotels

Hotel transactional volumes see resurgence in 2021 led by Christie & Co, according to the firm’s latest Business Outlook Report

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has today launched its annual Business Outlook report, ‘Business Outlook 2022: Adjust, Adapt, Advance’, which reflects on the themes, activity and challenges of 2021 and forecasts what 2022 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operates, including the hotel sector.

Whilst the beginning of 2021 was a challenging period for hoteliers, with the UK entering its third and longest national lockdown, the lifting of travel restrictions from May onwards saw the hotel sector regain momentum, albeit with stark differences across various regions and markets. In parallel with this, the hotel property market experienced a resurgence of transactional volumes in 2021, indicating more active deal flows and increased investor confidence in the sector recovery curve.

Key market trends for 2021, as highlighted in the report include various economic and operational headwinds, a delay to the predicted wave of distress, development challenges, a stark contrast in performance between leisure destinations capitalising on the staycation boom and corporate hotel markets and a lack of opportunities coming to the market, particularly those of scale. This significant imbalance between buyers and opportunities often drove price competition and there was minimum impact on pricing as a result.

This was evidenced in Christie & Co’s hotel price index for 2021, which saw an overall, albeit moderate recovery in hotel values versus the 2020 drop, with average prices increasing 4.3% on the previous year.

Key statistics included in the report confirm that Christie & Co remains the market leader in hotel deal volume, selling over 110 hotels across the UK in 2021. This 50% increase in deal volume

versus 2020 and the 30% uplift in the number of offers received clearly illustrate the buyer appetite that currently exists for hotel assets and suggest investors remain forward-looking.

Looking to the year ahead, the report also outlines Christie & Co’s market predictions which are:


DEMAND

  • Assuming the surge in cases and social distancing measures introduced as a result of the Omicron variant are short-lived, demand for business travel and international visitation will likely pick up. This may lead to a potential correction in domestic leisure demand and ADRs vs 2021 levels before normality returns


MARKET PERFORMANCE

  • In light of the Omicron threat, it is likely that any recovery in occupancy, notably in corporate destination, may be further delayed into the second half of 2022. Hoteliers will try to keep ADRs high to absorb some of the cost pressures
  • Operating margins will continue to be impacted by significant economic pressures, staffing shortages and payroll increases
  • Transactional volumes are likely to increase in 2022 but we are unlikely to see a massive wave of distress activity. We may start to see some larger scale opportunities and the appetite for leisure-led assets and leaner business models will continue


SUSTAINABILITY & DEVELOPMENT

  • Sustainable buildings, renewable energy and carbon offset schemes will be highly sought-after and will be positively reflected in yields
  • The development pipeline is likely to slow down due to rising construction costs and limited financing appetite


Carine Bonnejean, Managing Director of Hotels at Christie & Co comments, “The rise of Omicron towards the back end of 2021 certainly impaired trading over the Christmas period and depleted cash reserves from operators, creating some significant additional stress, particularly as we enter the low season in the first quarter. However, on a more positive note, this is likely to create another strong year of staycations for UK hotels. Nevertheless, buyers are still as interested as ever by the sector and frustrated by the lack of opportunities at all levels. As shown by our price index, competition is positively impacting sales proceeds and we are unlikely to see a substantial change to this dynamic until the end of Q1 2022 at the earliest.”


Click here to read the full report, ‘Business Outlook 2022: Adjust, Adapt, Advance’.


Go straight to the Hotel section and view the Hospitality Interview with MD of Hotels, Carine Bonnejean; MD of Pubs & Restaurants, Stephen Owens and special guest, Kate Nicholls OBE, Chief Executive, UKHospitality HERE.


For further information on this press release, contact:
Bronte Hughes, Corporate Communications Executive

P: 020 7227 0794 or E: bronte.hughes@christie.com