Monday 18 June 2018 4:30 pm

Asian investors pour record amounts of cash into City skyscrapers

Asian investors poured record amounts of money into London skyscrapers in the first six months of this year, with a whopping 68 per cent of City office purchases coming from Asia.

According to research from real estate firm Savills, which looks at offices in the City over 20 floors, Asian buyers invested £3.1bn in the first half of the year, an increase of over £300m compared to the first six months of last year.

The research follows the sale of Ropemaker Place today to a Singaporean-listed company for £650m and the acquisition of UBS’ London headquarters for £1bn by a Hong Kong property tycoon last week.


Read more: Another skyscraper has just been bought by Asian investors

These latest skyscraper deals come in the wake of both the "Walkie-Talkie" and "Cheesegrater" buildings being sold to Chinese investors in 2017.

Stephen Down, head of central London investment at Savills said: “Investment volumes in the City of London reflect the ongoing level of investor demand, particularly in this case, from Asian origin.

“It’s further positive news for London but arguably not a surprise, despite headlines to suggest the market is turning.

“London’s property market is made up of sophisticated investors who know what value is.”

Read more: UBS headquarters have just been sold for £1bn

Last year, Asian investors also sank records amount of money into London office deals, with transactions totalling £8.6bn, or 35.6 per cent of the total central London investment market, according to figures from property services company CBRE.


Real estate analysts suggest that the surge in interest from foreign buyers has all but cancelled out any negative effects from Brexit.

Zachary Gauge, European real estate analyst at ‎UBS Asset Management said: “The continued appetite for foreign buyers after the EU referendum result took everyone by surprise.

“What I think we learnt was that for investors seeking long term income in a core market they are prepared to accept the risk of short-term volatility which is negated by the length of the lease and covenant strength.

“So over the long-term I don't see Brexit having a major impact on the relative attractiveness of London to foreign buyers”.

 

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