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July 2017

Overseas investors still targeting London commercial property

Published: Friday 18 August 2017

By David Fuller 
London continues to be a top target for global overseas property investors, recently released figures show.

The latest data from global real estate advisor CBRE, shows that foreign investors are still driving the UK capital’s commercial property market, in spite of any concerns they may have surrounding Brexit.

In fact, for the first time since the second quarter of 2012, European investors actually made up the largest proportion of overseas investors in the second quarter of 2017. The CBRE figures show that European buyers accounted for 36 per cent of commercial property sales in the most recent quarter, with Germany the number one European source country for investors.
A total of approximately £3.1 billion was transacted during the quarter, which is on a par with transaction levels in the same quarter of 2016. Overseas buyers accounted for 71 per cent of all office transactions in this period, with the five largest transactions all made by overseas buyers.
This takes overall investment in commercial property in London during first half of 2017 to £8.2 billion – 13 per cent up on the same time last year. Asian buyers have been responsible for £3.2 billion of this overall spend. Twenty-five transactions so far this year have totalled £100 million or more.

“Appetite from overseas investors for large lot sizes with long, secure income continues to be a key feature of the London market this year,” said James Hammon, head of West End investment, CBRE. “Pricing has remained firm for this type of building and the high level of stock currently under offer demonstrates how London remains a top priority for global investors. We expect this to translate into stronger transaction levels in the third final quarters of the year.”

Hammon’s prediction certainly appears as though it will be borne out. Yesterday, the capital’s landmark Walkie Talkie skyscraper was snapped up for £1.3 billion by Hong Kong company LKK Health Products Group. It is now the most expensive building ever sold in London!

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