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BPF: British property attracting attention from investors

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The UK has long been a popular market with foreign property investors - but its appeal is showing no sign of diminishing, despite the current economic climate.

Indeed, CBRE recently noted that London in particular, attracted lots of interest from overseas during 2011 and is likely to keep doing so this year.

Figures showed that a "glut" in the number of commercial property sales at the end of last year came about partly because of commercial property investors from other countries making purchases.

The British Property Federation (BPF) believes this is an "entirely logical" development during this period of economic uncertainty around the world.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the group, has described the UK as a "mature, transparent and liquid market that provides a genuine diversifier from alternative, well-recognised investment sectors".

This suggests foreign investors will continue to transfer money to the UK in order to establish a presence in the country's real estate sector.

Britain's continuing appeal is one of the main subjects on the agenda at this year's MIPIM trade show, which is currently being held in Paris.

The BPF said attendees have been hearing how the UK is now a "safe haven for global capital", which means property in areas such as London is in strong demand.

People at the show have also discussed how "tumultuous events" around the world have helped to consolidate this perception of the country among foreign investors.

GL Hearn, which staged a talk on the subject at MIPIM alongside the BPF, is particularly optimistic about the outlook for the market.

"We are now entering a period of great opportunity to selectively invest in UK property," said Brian Sloggett, managing director of the firm.

He attributed this partly to the "emergence of more realistic pricing and political support", as well as "major structural changes" in retail delivery and the UK's city and town centers.

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