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London safe for property investors

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Is London safe for commercial property investors

Commercial property investors remain keen to transfer money to the UK, a new report has revealed.

Figures from CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) have showed that €11.9 billion worth of transactions took place in Britain during the third quarter of 2012 - 40 per cent more than in the previous three-month period.

Much of this activity was concentrated in central London, which CBRE believes demonstrates its strength even in a difficult economic climate.

"The London market is proving to be highly resilient and continues to be sought out by investors from around the world," said Jonathan Hull, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa capital markets at the group.

"International buyers have been dominant over the last 12 months and it is fair to say that they are making the market for major central London offices."

He put the city's popularity down partly to Britain's status as a non-eurozone country, as it means it is not affected by the financial bloc's debt crisis to the same extent as other key European markets.

Furthermore, Mr Hull said London's liquidity is helping to position the city as a "safe haven" for real estate investors around the world.

CBRE acknowledged that the figures for the UK market have been pushed up slightly by the fact some deals due for completion between April and June 2012 ended up being completed slightly later than planned.

Nevertheless, the group said the quarter-on-quarter increase recorded between July and September is still considerable.

CBRE added that more than four in ten transactions in Europe during this three-month period occurred in Britain, which it said means the country "dominated" regional activity at this time.

This backs up a recent report from Knight Frank, which noted that commercial real estate in London is proving especially popular with investors from the US and France.

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