London office transactions hit highest level since 2014

James Booth
London Skyline At Sunset
London office sector boomed in 2018 (Source: Getty)

Central London office investment transactions in 2018 hit £17.6bn, a 10 per cent rise on 2017 and the highest level since 2014.

According to real estate firm CBRE, there was £5bn of investment transactions in the fourth quarter of 2018, which marked a 16 per cent rise in investment volumes compared to the third quarter and a 69 per cent increase on the fourth quarter of 2017.

Overseas investors represented 76 per cent of investment volumes in 2018, a fall on 81 per cent in 2017.

Asian investors were once again the most active, investing £7.3bn over the course of the year and accounting for 57 per cent of total overseas investment.

Domestic investors were more active, especially in the fourth quarter, with their investment level reaching the highest level since 2013 for the quarter and the highest for the year since 2015.

James Beckham, head of central London Investment at CBRE, said: “London has shown its resilience in the face of uncertainty and persistent noise around Brexit. We are seeing consistent levels of liquidity in the London market and greater diversification of capital from across Asia, a trend we expect to continue in 2019.”

Adding: “We are anticipating overall investment volumes to be slightly lower in 2019 but there is still strong demand at both ends of the risk spectrum; overseas investors’ appetite for best in class assets is unwavering whilst UK funds are seeking value-add opportunities in order to capture enhanced returns.”

There were five deals in 2018 with a value greater than £500m, including the £1.3bn sale and leaseback of Goldman Sachs’ new European headquarters.