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United Hampshire US Reit collects 80% of base rents from retail tenants in June

UNITED Hampshire US Real Estate Investment Trust (United Hampshire US Reit) on Monday said it collected around 80 per cent of base rents from retail tenants in June.

It collected around 77 per cent of base rents in May, and 82 per cent in April.

Retail tenants comprising 91 per cent of total base rental income were open for business in June, as most retail tenants re-commenced operations following the easing of lockdown measures across the US.

Approximately 70 per cent of tenants that were closed in April have reopened for business as at June 30, it said.

The manager added that Covid-19 transmission cases were trending down in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts, where 19 of the Reit’s 22 properties are located. This represents approximately 81 per cent of the IPO portfolio by appraised value.

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Tenants in the Reit’s three properties located in Florida and North Carolina remain open for business, notwithstanding a recent increase in Covid-19 transmissions, it said in a statement.

Vertical construction for the St Lucie West Expansion in Florida has begun, and remains on track to be completed by the first quarter of 2021, the manager said. Upon completion, the St Lucie West Expansion will be occupied by the existing anchor tenant of St Lucie West, Publix Super Markets, Inc.

As part of rental relief discussions, the manager is also in talks with certain retail tenants on potential lease extensions, which will be accretive to the overall weighted average lease expiry of the Reit.

The manager will continue to assess these requests on a case-by-case basis and will provide further details on the financial impact of the rental relief in its H1 results announcement for the six months ended June 2020, it said.

The Reit’s self-storage properties experienced a steady upward trend in leasing activity in June, it said; its Millburn and Carteret self-storage centres had achieved occupancy levels of approximately 65 per cent and 94 per cent respectively, as at June 29. 

The construction of its Perth Amboy self-storage has been delayed slightly due to the lockdown and is expected to be completed this month instead of in the second quarter of the year, it said. However, the Reit noted that it does not expect this to have a “material impact”, as Perth Amboy contributes less than 1 per cent of the Reit’s gross revenue for the forecast period of 2020.

Its Hampshire sponsor has put in place top-up agreements for both the Elizabeth self-storage and Perth Amboy self-storage for up to US$2.5 million and US$2.2 million respectively, it said, for a period of up to four years from the date of completion of the purchase and sale agreements.

Robert Schmitt, chief executive of the manager, said the Reit will continue to remain resilient, as its properties are located in suburban areas and many of its tenants are essential businesses.

“We are pleased that almost all of our tenants have re-commenced business operations following the easing of lockdown measures across the US. While retail activity has picked up, … we recognise the ongoing impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and measures that will be imposed from time to time, and will continue to actively engage our tenants during this period,” he said.

Units of United Hampshire US Reit ended Monday at 0.5 US cents or 0.8 per cent lower at 59 cents, before this announcement.

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