Foreign investors “sweeping up” properties in London

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Asian investors are continuing to “sweep up” London’s commercial property by taking advantage of the sterling’s weakness and looking beyond mounting economic uncertainties.

Undeterred Asian firms have now spent more than £4bn on property in the capital in the first six months of 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

The investment accounted for almost half of all deals in the period, with £8.8bn being invested in London’s housing and commercial property in the six months to July.

Big deals include Hong Kong-based CC Land Holdings’ purchase of the Leadenhall Building or “Cheesegrater”, for £1,15bn and One Kingdom Street for £300m.

The £315m property at 20 Gresham Street was also snapped up by investors at China Resource Limited, while the Singapore-based Ho Bee Land purchased 67 Lombard Street for £129m.

Research from Crushman & Wakefield, which analyses contracts for exchanged deals, showed that London property investment was up 18.5% from 7,45bn in the same period last year.

Activity from Asia-Pacific investors, including China, Hong Kong and Singapore, was at its highest in five years and accounted for 46% of all deals.

“Asia-Pacific investors from across the entire region the London market in the first half of this year and are set to continue with strong ongoing interest in assets right across the risk spectrum,” said James Beckham, head of London capital markets at Crushman & Wakefield.

Following closely behind the region were investors from Europe, with Germant spending the most, regardless of Brexit.

Of the seven deals worth more than £200m in the City of London, German investors were responsible for four.

Deutsche Asset Management acquired 2&3 Bankside for £310m, while fund manager Deka bought Cannon Place for around £485.

Separate research earlier this year showed Middle and Far Eastern buyers have been active in the regional market, spending around £1,9bn in 2016.

It is clear from these investments that more are coming regardless of the political situation in the UK. Many investors are using the weakened pound to their advantage. This is a clear sign that London is still open of business.

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