- Primary care property investor and developer Assura reports continued strong growth in the third quarter to the end of December.

Assura said it continued to make good progress in the period, completing the acquisition of 22 medical centres for a gross consideration of £48.8m with a passing rent roll of £2.5m and a weighted average unexpired lease length of 13.8 years.

Assura said it had a further pipeline of individual asset acquisitions and developments currently in solicitors' hands worth approximately £103m.

Assura now owns 385 medical centres with a total annualised rent roll of £72.7m (30 September 2016: £70.1m), with growth in the financial year to date driven primarily by acquisitions.

The weighted average annual rent increase was 1.72% on the basis of 84 reviews settled in the nine months to 31 December, of which open market rent reviews were 1.15%.

Interim chief executive Jonathan Murphy said: "Assura made good progress in the third quarter, completing further investment activity and delivering improved primary care space into the market.

"The long-term solution to the challenges facing the NHS is widely agreed to include more healthcare being provided in the primary care sector, by GPs.

"This in turn will require investment in GP premises. We are pleased that the Government has shown its support for this by the ETTF.

"Firm timetables and funding to turn these plans into reality are now essential if the benefits to the NHS are to be achieved within the five-year timeframe of the GP Forward View."

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