In early February 2023, we spoke, at some length, with a dozen or so of our hotel agent friends, and asked them 3 questions?
• Did you see 2023 (and 2024?) as a ‘Buyer’s Market’?
• Is there any geographical location/hotel style that is in, or out of, favour?
• Your thoughts on discount levels compared with recent peaks?
(With a general invite to let us know if there was anything else they wanted to say?).
We received a very extensive set of responses and so have decided to split this report into 3 short episodes.
Part 1 ‘Do you see 2023 (and 2024?) as a ‘Buyer’s Market’?
Broadly our agents split their responses under a series of headings:
Here cost of capital, lack of affordable debt and bank pressure to refinance, were cited as considerations. Drivers on pressure to sell included poor trading, leading to service and covenant breaches. BUT the general impression was that there was little in the way of distressed assets being brought to the market, at present.
Cost pressure loomed large but a ‘robust’ 2022 was quoted, however a lot of uncertainty as to the future clearly remains? Trading may stall, bringing sellers to the market but, as yet there is no evidence that trading was causing serious problems to lenders. Other interesting comments – ‘Projections are going to be much harder to construct, going forward, with so many variables’ also ‘urban hotels under government contracts are vulnerable to these contracts coming to an end.’
Almost every agent commented on supply: ‘light supply’, ‘lack of stock’ with ‘most investors take a long-term view and have no wish to sell.’
One agent made a strong statement; ‘it will be a buyer’s market for the next 12- 24 months.’
But ‘more on a micro level (i.e. very granular) rather than the late 2000’s global crisis.’
‘London is a seller’s market.’
‘There will be opportunities to acquire hotels not normally available, but not at significant discounts.’
I’ll quote one agent ‘Yes, it will be a buyer’s market, but true opportunities may take some time to appear, and buyers will need to be brave and not venture into the market too early.’
Next Episode – Is there any geographical location/hotel style that is in, or out of, favour?