Brexit lifting the London office market
Londoners have known for decades that luxury residential property is a target for foreign money. Now its commercial property market has followed suit. In 2000 foreign buyers accounted for just 30% of transactions in the market in central London, said Zachary Gauge, an analyst covering European real estate at UBS Global Asset Management. In 2018, a year in which London attracted more property investment than any other city in the world, that figure stood at 75%.
Big deals last year saw buildings such as the offices of investment banks Goldman Sachs and UBS change hands for £1bn-plus. In both of those cases, the acquirer was an institutional buyer based in Asia, from where an increasing amount of investment is keeping advisers busy.
Analysts at property agency Savills calculate that Asian buyers accounted for 52% of investment value in the Square Mile in 2018, for example. That compares with 19% from UK buyers, 11% from the US, 11% from Europe and 5% from the Middle East.