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Investment levels in the City of London continues to gain momentum

Commercial property investment in the City of London last month totalled £2.1bn, boosted by the sale of the Walkie Talkie to Hong Kong based Infinitus Property Group, according to Savills.

The sale of 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3 (the ‘Walkie Talkie’) for £1,28bn reflecting a yield of 3.4%, accounted for 61% of July’s turnover, pushing up the monthly average lot size to £190.92m, says Savills. 

Total turnover for the year to date has now reached £7.4bn, 51% up on the corresponding period in 2016.

Savills reports that the average lot size is £96m for the year so far, but already 17 transactions in 2017 have broken the £100m, totalling £5.8bn, compared to just 19 across the whole of last year, equating to £4.4bn. 

The high demand for large £100m-plus trophy assets is fuelled primarily by international investors as they look to take advantage of the depreciation of sterling.

The research states, as of the end of July, Asian investors have continued to be the most active accounting for 63% of city turnover this year. They are followed by European investors at 17%, and UK investors at 11%. 

However, activity from the Middle East and the US remains relatively quiet accounting for 5% and 3% respectively, with the remaining turnover accounted for by a variety of nationalities.

Robert Buchele, director in Savills City investment team, commented: “The momentum we saw in the first half of the year has continued into H2, boosted by the record breaking sale of the Walkie Talkie. Consequently, given the continued influx of international capital focused on the largest City assets, yields for this lot size have hardened.

“2017 investment volumes are well on track to surpass those of 2016; although measures taken by the Chinese government to cool its property market may lead slowing second half volumes from China, there are many other Asian and European investors still eager to buy in the City.”

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