Overseas investors have been targeting central London property in 2012, with more than GBP 6 billion ploughed into the sector so far this year. Figures published by BNP Paribas Real Estate revealed almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of this investment came from overseas, with this climbing to 85 per cent in the City. Buyers from both North and South America were highly active in the City market, the firm revealed, as well as German financiers. In addition to this, investors from the Middle East were involved with several transactions for central London assets.
This echoes a report published last month by CBRE, which revealed commercial property in the central districts of the capital continued to be sought after by international buyers in May following a strong first quarter. The West End was singled out as a particularly popular location, posting capital growth of 0.7 per cent in May. According to the BNP Paribas Real Estate data, 61 per cent of real estate investments in this area have come from overseas, with North American, German and other European buyers particularly focused on this sector of the London market.
International investment director at BNP Paribas Real Estate Andrew Cruickshank is confident this strong performance will continue for the rest of this year. "With the economy facing some unprecedented challenges within Europe and an unsettled outlook in the Middle East, London remains to be the more resilient market - a fact which we believe will remain to be true as we move further into 2012," he asserted.
Last month, Nick Park, senior analyst of economics and forecasting at CBRE, said the reason commercial real estate in London is outperforming other destinations in Europe is its status as a safe haven. He explained the British capital looks particularly appealing because of the constant flow of negative economic news from the eurozone and uncertainty relating to the wider political situation in Europe.