Prime retail locations in central London have been targeted by international investors over the past five years, with overseas owners now more prevalent than UK property funds in areas such as Oxford Street and Bond Street. Research carried out by Savills revealed that UK funds used to own 96 per cent of the retail properties on Oxford Street and 86 per cent of the premises on Bond Street, but this share has now been reduced to 39 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.
Investors from Denmark, Spain, Russia, France, Qatar, Hong Kong, Thailand and India are among those to have purchased retail properties in these areas, the firm noted. Jonathan O'Regan, from the Savills central London investment team, explained that many of the vendors have taken the opportunity to sell their assets for a price much greater than they initially paid. He commented: "Investors are attracted by cheap sterling and London's reputation as a safe haven." Meanwhile, rents on both shopping streets have risen by an average of 50 per cent over the course of five years.
A recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle showed that investment in retail properties all over Europe increased substantially between July and September, when compared to the previous three-month period. The firm found that the UK and Germany are the two most popular retail real estate markets on the continent at present.
- Wednesday 26 October 2011