Supermarkets are selling off surplus property rather than sitting on excess stock, research from secured lending platform Saving Stream has found.
It found the value of supermarket property portfolios has fallen by 17% to £37.8bn in just two years.
Many of the sold sites are out of town brownfield sites, as in 2010 Tesco sold off 14 unwanted sites for £250m for potential residential conversion into 10,000 homes.
Liam Brooke, co-founder of Lendy, the company behind the Saving Stream platform says: “There is an acute need for new housing in many parts of the UK and smaller developers can play a vital role in helping to meet that demand.
“UK supermarkets are increasingly looking at reversing a long-term strategy of ‘land-banking.’
“Opportunistic purchases of sites for potential future stores were intended to provide a strategic advantage, build market presence and lock out competitors from certain areas.
“Developers could be major beneficiaries as supermarkets start to scale back their property portfolios, with smaller sites just as likely as larger development opportunities to be offloaded.”