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Middle Eastern property investors seek UK opportunities outside central London

Some 30% of all Middle Eastern capital targeting the UK post EU referendum has been deployed outside of central London with £271.8m of the total £909.6m invested in the UK regions, according to a new study.

Comparatively, only 19% of transactions by Asian investors post-Brexit vote have taken place in the UK’s regional commercial property market, according to Savills research.

Middle Eastern investors continue to chase long dated income streams with strong covenants and internationally recognised brands with key deals including: Palmer Capital and SEDCO Capital purchasing Waterside House in Bracknell for £35.2m, reflecting a net initial yield of circa 5.65%; Rasmala acquiring Abbvie House on Vanwall Business Park, Berkshire, for £24.5m and Kuwait’s Global Investment House purchasing the NHS Scottish and UK / European head quarters offices at the Gyle Business Park in Edinburgh and 3M in Bracknell for a total of £200m.


Savills says Middle Eastern investors now have an 8% market share of the UK’s commercial property market, and a 12% share of investment in central London.

Hassan Farran, director in the cross-border investment team at Savills, commented: “Middle Eastern investors undoubtedly recognise London as a global gateway city and those with long term aspirations continue to view the wider UK as an attractive investment destination because of our legal system, landlord friendly regulations, standardised market, time zone and culture.

“The weak pound is attractive to investors whose currency is pegged to the US dollar and this has contributed to the ongoing resilience of the UK’s commercial real estate market post EU referendum.  As a result some Middle Eastern investors who have previously been sitting on the sidelines have decided now is the time to buy. The strength of covenant is now more important than ever for Middle Eastern investors and as a result we are seeing activity in the UK regional markets, when other overseas investors like those from Asia are more focused on London.”

Looking forward, Savills expects UK commercial property will continue to attract Middle Eastern investors.


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