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Investment in London jumps to £4.1bn in Q4 2016 – CBRE

Investment volumes in London increased to £4.1bn in the final quarter of 2016, the latest Property Perspective report from CBRE shows. 

The latest data from the global property advisor firm shows that Q4 was the strongest quarter last year, pushing the annual total to £13.1bn.

While the total raised last year represents a fall in volumes from the previous year, this was largely due to the impact that of the EU referendum on the Q3 totals, which were the weakest since 2011.

CBRE report that the increase in volumes was also reflected in the number of transactions, which rose from 42 in Q3 2016 to 66 in Q4 2016, with 11 of these deals secured for in excess of £100m.

Additionally, 75% of total Q4 volumes and 93% of transactions over £100m were completed by foreign purchasers as previous concerns around the referendum result dissipated.

Overseas investors consequently accounted for 70% of total volumes last year, their most active year since 2013.

Asian buyers were the most active party, accounting for a quarter of total volumes, closely followed by Middle Eastern investors.

The devaluation of sterling certainly underpinned the attractiveness of the London office market, having fallen 19% against the US dollar and 16% against the Hong Kong dollar over the course of the year.

Chris Brett, head of international capital markets at CBRE, said: “Previous market uncertainty following the referendum result certainly showed clear signs of having subsided in Q4 2016 and overseas buyers returned to London with force.

“Not only did the number of transactions increase but the number of sizeable transactions was also much higher, highlighting investors’ confidence in London and its status as a global safe haven.”

“London remains a key target for those seeking wealth preservation strategies and we expect the fall in sterling to continue to make UK real estate remain particularly attractive to overseas investors over the coming year.” 

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