In the first six months of 2018, 52% of London West End commercial property deals were from UK investors. In the first half of 2017, only 42% of deals were made by UK investors.
The reasons for this is probably that fewer overseas buyers are interested in purchasing commercial property. Paul Cockburn of estate agents Savills, which published these figures, commented:
“Overseas buyers were very active in the first six months of 2017, but more recently, as the pound has reached a more consistent level, the overseas money has dipped a bit.”
There were fewer transactions in the West End. In the first half of last year, there were 70 deals worth £3.73bn compared to 58 transactions worth £2.9bn in the first half of 2018.
There was a fear amongst some commercial property owners that values may fall, and this caused them to sell in anticipation of this. However, values remained high; for Example, Burlington Arcade in Mayfair was sold for a high £300m. The Shaftesbury group that owns property in the West End had a profit rise of 20.8% in the first quarter of 2018.
Savills has noticed that many UK investors have returned to London after an absence, and is confident in the strength of the London property market. Though interest rates may rise after the summer, commercial mortgage rates remain low and there are plenty of mortgage products available to finance commercial property purchases in or outside of London.