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Liberty Property's Kings Hill in Kent Sees Solid Demand

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Liberty Property Trust LPT is witnessing solid demand for its properties in the United Kingdom. Recently, the company announced that SearchFlow, a provider of conveyancing search services for the legal profession, has renewed its lease for another 10 years at Kings Hill, Kent.

For SearchFlow, which is part of Daily Mail and General Trust plc and has been based at Kings Hill since 2007, the move is a strategic fit. The site offers easy accessibility to London. Moreover, with SearchFlow focusing on growing its customer service operations for widening customer base, the site supports the company’s expansion plan.  

Notably, Kings Hill is being developed by Liberty Property Trust’s subsidiary, Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd. Specifically, this U.K. subsidiary and Kent County Council created a collaborative public/private sector partnership for the development of Kings Hill as a mixed-use community. It includes commercial, residential, educational, retail, community, sports and leisure uses across 800 acres of landscaped low density parkland.

Notably, mixed-use developments too have gained much popularity in recent years. Such developments narrow the distance between housing, workplaces, retail businesses and other amenities and destinations. Hence, such developments enable companies to grab the attention of people who prefer to live, work and play in the same area — a trend that drove development in several other cities in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom.

Kings Hill too is expected to benefit from its mixed-use focus. Its tenant roster is well-diversified with tenants belonging to sectors like financial services, oil, food, automotive and telecommunications. Notably, last year, the property’s developer Liberty Property Trust was able to sign property deals on more than 100,000 square feet of office space.

Going forward, Liberty Property Trust is likely to benefit from its top-quality office and industrial properties, covering 100 million square feet of space and comprising 554 properties in the markets with strong demographic and economic fundamentals. Its tenants include several major companies, promising steady rental revenues.

Liberty Property Trust has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The stock has inched up 2.5% over the past year against its industry’s decline of 7.5%.

Stocks Worth a Look

A few better-ranked stocks from the same industry are Arbor Realty Trust ABR, Extra Space Storage Inc. EXR and Sotherly Hotels Inc. SOHO, each of the three carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Arbor Realty Trust’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 FFO per share has been revised 2.3% upward to 90 cents over the past month. Its share price has risen 10.9% in six months’ time.

Extra Space Storage’s FFO per share estimates for the current year have moved up 1.6% to $4.57 in a month’s time. Its shares have gained 7.1% over the past six months.

Sotherly Hotels’ FFO per share estimates for 2018 have been revised upward approximately 1.9% to $1.05 over the past month. The stock has increased 7.4% during the past six months.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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Arbor Realty Trust (ABR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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Liberty Property Trust (LPT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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