London drives frenzy of global property deals

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Minerva sold The Walbrook to Taiwan’s Cathay Life
INVESTMENT activity in commercial property rose sharply in the first half of the year, new figures show, with cities, including London, New York and San Francisco, continuing to steal the spotlight.

Global investment in commercial real estate reached $318bn (£204bn) at the end of June, 15 per cent higher than the same time last year, according to research published yesterday by real estate advisers DTZ.

European volumes grew by 23 per cent to $274bn and in North America volumes increased by 18 per cent to $311bn. However, activity in Asia Pacific slowed, falling seven per cent at $90bn over the past twelve months.

DTZ’s head of capital markets research Nigel Almond, said: “In contrast to Europe or North Amer­ica, investment volumes across Asia Pacific remained strong through the financial crisis and its aftermath.

“But in the last six months, activity has been stifled by a lack of suitable product and, in some markets, a mismatch between buyer and vendor expectations.”

London held on to its crown as the most traded market with over $39bn changing hands in the year to the end of June – up seven per cent on a year ago.

Manhattan was in second place ($28bn), followed by San Francisco ($21bn) and Tokyo ($18bn).

Norwegian, Qatari and Taiwanese investors led the charge, with major deals, including the sale of The Walbrook in the City to Taiwan-based insurer Cathay Life for £575m.