Commercial real estate property investment has literally been flipped on its head with the impending listing of Mailbox REIT Plc, the first commercial property asset, owned by a single company, on the International Property Securities Exchange (IPSX) in London.
“The IPSX marks a real democratisation of commercial real estate for retail investors,” according to IPSX shareholder James Caan CBE, the BBC Dragons’ Den investor.
Up until the arrival of IPSX, which has been five years in the making, retail (non-institutional) investors were only able to add commercial real estate investments to their portfolios was through buying shares in listed real estate companies or through open-ended funds where in both cases they have no control over the underlying assets these companies invest in.
“I’m in, in terms of the flexibility, safety, and transparency of the IPSX,” according to James Caan CBE, the BBC Dragons’ Den investor. Along with Caan, IPSX stakeholders include M7, British Land and Henley Investments. It is regulated by the FCA.
First off the block for IPSX is the IPO of Mailbox REIT Plc, a single asset company which owns the iconic Live-Work-Play Mailbox building in Birmingham on the site of the former Royal Mail building. Mailbox is the home of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. Other blue-chip tenants in this primarily office property, all on long-term leases, include Q-Park, WSP Management Services, Advanced Business & Software Solutions and Harvey Nichols Stores. Located in the centre of Birmingham on a 4.8-acre freehold site, Mailbox is in close proximity to Birmingham New Street Station, Broad Street and Brindley Place.
While the London Stock Exchange in St Paul’s celebrates its 220th anniversary on the 21st March 2021, the arrival of the dedicated bricks-and-mortar trading exchange, IPSX, in Mayfair, is a momentous occasion.
“Illiquidity is a problem for many property investment companies, particularly in volatile markets. Through the IPSX, direct retail investments, through the buying and selling shares in property assets like the Mailbox REIT Plc, can create great liquidity”.
“At the same time, investors can expect to see regular dividends paid of around 5%. This return is virtually the same as what buy-to-let property investors receive, but without having to do all that running around”.
“For me, the IPSX, is the most exciting, and timely innovation to happen to the property industry for a long time. In the future as the market establishes itself, we could conceivably see high profile assets like The Shard, Walkie Talkie, the Gherkin, or Wembley Stadium follow Mailbox onto IPSX. That’s why, I’m in.”