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Foreign Investors Drive UK Commercial Property Market

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Foreign Investors Drive UK Commercial Property Market

By - Thursday 16 February 2012

New research from PropertyEU has revealed some interesting facts about commercial property investment in the UK.

Firstly, according to the publication, the UK was the most active market in Europe in December 2011 and January 2012 with 4.9 billion Euros invested during the period. It beat France in second place with 4.2 billion Euros and Germany in third with 1.8 billion Euros invested during the period. This shows both that investors continue to look for perceived safe-havens within Europe, and that the UK is at the top of the safety tree, not least because it is in control of its own monetary policy.

The second notable trend unearthed by the research is that foreign investors overshadowed domestic investors during the period. According to the report foreigners invested 2.6 billion Euros in December and January, which is 53% of the overall total. Foreigners were also behind 3 of the 5 biggest transactions during the period.

Malaysian institutional investor PNB, a relative newcomer to the market bought 1 Silk Street in London, in the largest transaction of EUR 420 mln from US firm Beacon Capital. Around the same time PNB was rumoured to be the frontrunner to buy the majority of Kanam’s EUR 1 bn office portfolio in the UK capital.

The fourth largest deal was done by US private equity firm Blackstone, which purchased the Triangle logistics portfolio in a 352 million euro transaction from UK REIT London and Stamford. And the fifth largest was done by South African investor Kirsh Group, which acquired the Tower 42 estate in London for EUR 340 mln.

Blackstone has since added to its UK logistics holdings with the purchase of the 13-asset Teal portfolio from Prologis for a total of $335 mln in February. Ten of the assets were owned by Amsterdam-listed fund, Prologis European Properties.

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