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Commercial property sales get overseas lift

Big money: last year saw a host of major deals, including the £1.7bn sale of the More London site, home to City Hall.

A flood of overseas investment saw £16 billion pumped into the London commercial property market last year, fuelling the best year for the capital since the height of the boom in 2007, according to agents Jones Lang LaSalle.

A host of major deals at the end of last year included the sale of trophy assets such as More London, sold to Kuwaiti buyer St Martins Property Group for £1.7 billion, and the St Botolphs building in the City, sold to a German fund for £460 million. The former Canadian diplomatic base at One Grosvenor Square went to an Indian developer for £306 million.

JLL said £16.2 billion was pumped into London property last year, mostly from overseas buyers. Damian Corbett, head of central London office investment said: “The final quarter has been very strong, and turnover has exceeded initial expectations after a subdued start to the year. London remains the most active global city, with deal volumes around one-and-a-half times its nearest competitor New York.

“We have seen continued interest from foreign buyers, particularly those from the Asia Pacific region, and are also seeing new entrants to the market from all around the world, both institutional and private investors.”

Office lettings jumped to 10.8 million sq ft for the year, well ahead of 2012’s 7.2 million.


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