Monday 3 December 2018 12:39 am

Asian investors put stamp on London skyline with massive trophy deals

LONDON’S most valuable buildings are being dominated by Asian investors, who have grabbed half of all £1bn-plus property deals over the last five years, it has been revealed.

Of the ten London properties which sold for more than £1bn since 2013, investors from Hong Kong snapped up three, including the Walkie Talkie and UBS’s Liverpool Street headquarters.

Investors from the Middle East, US and UK were involved in two deals each, analysis from Linklaters shows.

Another bank building was snapped up by South Korean NPS in August this year as the company paid almost £1.2bn for Goldman Sachs’s European headquarters, while Singapore’s GIC paid £1.7bn for half of Broadgate in 2013.

“There is a certain appeal of high-value London property. The attraction of these building is particularly strong for cash-rich Asian investors in search of higher returns while interest rates remain at record lows,” said Andy Bruce, global head of real estate at Linklaters.

He said that the rhetoric is changing around Asian money as investors from Korea start rivalling their competitors in Hong Kong and China for trophy deals in London.

“There is a lot of Korean money out there so their presence will start be felt a lot more significantly over the coming years on some high-profile deals,” Bruce added.

“The fact that global capital has been pursuing these deals through 2018 notwithstanding the supposed problems of Brexit approaching, only confirms the significance of London as a global investment location and, possibly, that the further from London one is based, the less concerned certain investors are about what might be perceived as short-term local politics.”