Cranston's track record includes spells with Knight Frank and JLL. Credit: David Wood

HTA Real Estate adds investment specialist

The industrial-focused agency has hired Douglas Cranston as investment director.

Cranston brings to the Newcastle-based firm more than 20 years of industry experience following senior roles with firms including MCM Group, Knight Frank and JLL.

At HTA, he will lead the firm’s investment department, handling acquisitions and disposals on behalf of pension funds, property companies and private Individuals.

He will also provide strategic asset management advice to property investors to help them enhance portfolio performance.

According to Cranston, the commercial property investment market is at a turning point and poised for increased levels of activity following a challenging couple of years for the sector.

He said: “Inflation is now at its lowest level since September 2021 and there is an expectation that interest rates have peaked, with some rate cuts potentially on their way before the end of the year.

“These factors have improved market sentiment and with prices stabilising, after a lengthy period of correction, I expect to see transactional volumes increase through 2024.

“The disparity in performance across property types is likely to persist in 2024. The priority in a polarised market is to identify those assets from both a sector and asset-quality perspective that will perform and provide the best returns in line with investor requirements.”

HTA was launched in 2013 by directors Nick Atkinson, Simon Hill and Russell Taylor and over the past decade has become a key player in the region’s industrial market.

Since 2013 the firm has transacted around 11.5m sq ft of industrial space including lettings to Energizer and Tor Coatings at Follingsby Park in Gateshead as well as a 265,000 sq ft deal with Coveris at Drum Industrial Estate and the sale of the 340-acre former Alcan site in Northumberland.

The firm is currently marketing new projects at Hillthorn and Turbine Business Parks in Washington and Citivale and Partners Group’s Greenbox Darlington, which together are set to deliver over 930,000 sq.ft. of industrial accommodation in the coming years.

Cranston, who will concentrate primarily on the North East region, but has previously brokered investment deals in Yorkshire, North West, Midlands and Scotland, added: “HTA Real Estate is a market leading commercial property consultancy and I am delighted to be coming on board and building on the firm’s many successes over the past 10 years.”

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Related Articles

Subscribe for free

Stay updated on the latest news and views in North East property


Keep updated on the latest news, deals, views and opportunities in North East property, in your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to Place Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below