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Rich property investors target ‘trophy’ assets in London’s West End

Property investors acquiring commercial property in London’s West End continue to target ‘trophy’ assets, with around £3.9bn spent on properties in the first six months of 2017, which is the second highest volume on record for the first half of a year, despite the fact that that the number of deals so far this year has dropped to just 55 – the lowest ever recorded.

The data from Savills shows that a record six transactions of over £200m were documented in H1 2017, totalling £1.64bn, making up an unprecedented 42% of total volume.

Investors from Asia have been particularity active so far this year, and were responsible for 38% of the total deal volume in H1 2017.

UK investors have also been active, especially among smaller assets. UK investors were responsible for 24 of the 55 deals transacted in the first half of the year – 44% of the total number. The average transaction size involving a UK investor was £44m, compared to £134 million for Asian investors.

Savills says prime yields in London’s West End market remain at 3.25% for the eighth successive month.

Paul Cockburn, head of the West End investment team at Savills, commented: “At this half year point, it’s possible 2017 will come close to, or even beat, the record set in 2014 for West End deal volumes. In spite of some negative commentary on the prospects for property, a quorum of buyers remain optimistic and this is reflected in the volume of activity.

“Here at Savills we were involved in over £800m of West End deals, equating to over 20% turnover in the market, in the first half of the year. With seven other ongoing transactions it looks like the summer could be just as busy.”

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