Queen's property portfolio increases to £9.9bn

Billy Ehrenberg
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The Crown Estate's property portfolio is now worth £9.9bn (Source: Getty)

The Crown Estate, the company that manages the Queen's property portfolio, saw the value of its assets grow to £9.9bn in 2013 and produce record returns of £267m.

Success was driven by a more entrepreneurial approach and London's growing office market. Last year the portfolio was valued at around £8bn.

The year-on-year growth rate of 5.7 per cent is impressive, and means that this will be the third year in a row that the estate's profits have grown.

All rents from the property portfolio are paid to the Treasury, from whom the Queen receives living and household maintenance expenses. The sovereign grant was £37.8m for 2014.

According to the Financial Times a more business-minded approach to the portfolio has paid off, with growth in the London office market giving the Estate a particular boost. The paper quotes Alison Nimmo, the Crown Estate's chief executive, as saying that success has come in the market areas in which the estate has been most active.

Part of the approach has centred around partnerships with big business, including working with Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund with whom the estate has collaborated to develop 270,000 square feet of space in St. James's into offices, shops and eateries. The agreement was reached last year.

More recently the estate's investment in St. James's was expanded and has now risen to £320m.

As well as property, the estate has invested in offshore wind energy. It owns the seabed in British waters and its offshore wind portfolio saw a year-on-year increase of 46 per cent, up to £15m. It now has 1,500 wind turbines on its property, owned by various renewable energy companies.

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