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Foreign investment in London commercial property market 'set to grow'

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Foreign investment in London commercial property market 'set to grow'

The number of commercial property investors looking to transfer money to the UK could be set to increase in the near future.

According to CBRE, London in particular is attracting lots of interest from foreign buyers.

Indeed, the organisation said a "glut" in the number of sales at the end of 2011 came about partly because of commercial property investors from other countries making purchases.

Nick Parker, CBRE's senior analyst of economics and forecasting, is therefore confident this trend will continue during 2012.

"Over the next 12 months, we foresee the international investors group remaining a key component of UK property investment, as they have increasingly become over the past ten years," he commented.

Figures from CBRE indicate that about £5.5 billion worth of commercial real estate investment took place in the UK during December 2011. This took the figure for the year overall to nearly £34 billion.

Mr Parker described the performance of the market in December as "encouraging", but CBRE is remaining cautious with its expectations for 2012.

"Sentiment has been weakening in line with the global economic slowdown since the middle of last year," Mr Parker stated.

He added that how the commercial property market in Britain performs during 2012 will be "largely dictated by how events unfold in the eurozone".

Investors who are transferring money to the UK in order to make an investment might therefore benefit from taking a more detailed look at which type of property is performing best.

Office and industrial space was flagged up by CBRE as a relatively strong performer in a weak market during January, as these generated higher returns than retail properties.

This comes after Knight Frank noted that foreign investors now occupy a greater share of the central London office market than those from the UK. The group said this contrasts with the state of affairs ten years ago, when Britons "dominated" the sector.

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