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Investment in central London up 24% year-on-year

Central London commercial investment levels hit £11.5bn during the first seven months of 2017, marking a 24% rise on the corresponding point last year, according to Savills.

Investment levels were boosted by a buoyant July, with more than £2.352bn invested in central London’s commercial property, which was the highest amount recorded since March 2007 for the City.

Asian investors have accounted for almost two-thirds - 63% - of total City turnover in the year so far, followed by European investors at 17% and UK investors at 11%, attracted by an average yield of 4%.

In the West End market, where the average yield stands at 3.25%, Asian investors accounted for about half of turnover to the end of July, with UK institutions accounting for just 2% of acquisitions by turnover.

Stephen Down, head of Savills central London investment team, commented: “The first half of 2017 saw central London investment increase 12.3% on the same period last year; while we’re only a month into H2 the momentum has continued and total 2017 investment volumes may well surpass those of 2016.

“Although the restrictions announced earlier in August by the Chinese government will reduce real estate investment from mainland Chinese property developers and institutions, investors from Hong Kong, who have been particularly busy in the market in the past year, are likely to continue to be active however we have noticed their buying criteria has become increasingly selective.

“We expect there to be more stock coming on to the market as we approach the end of the year as existing owners of investments take profits and, provided these sales are priced correctly, we should see continued strong turnover activity of the next three to four months.”

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