Over the decade we have witnessed success in cities throughout the UK; Manchester and Edinburgh experiencing substantial growth and investments, but London still sits comfortably at the top. In a meeting this week, the UK was compared to the Olympic 100m of recent years – London always being a few steps ahead.
2016 did leave us in uncertain times, unsure how the decisions on a diplomatic and economic level would affect our prized city.
London fared the choppy seas and has seen an incredible first quarter, eradicating the fear of what 2017 might have looked like in the sovereign city. Research estimates that there is currently £2.7bn of stock currently under offer and the city has already seen the sale of a number of trophy assets such as the Leadenhall Building during Q1. This size and volume of investments within the first quarter are set to comfortably exceed the long-term average of £9.8bn.
Common trends are evident throughout these 3 short months, the most evident and significant being foreign capital – Chinese investors accounted for 96% of West End investment in January. We also saw the West End’s previous record volume of £1.80bn, set in 2013, setting a new record and exceeding the 5-year first quarter average by 22%.
Qatar has become one of the largest landlords in London, buying into some of London’s most iconic schemes including those on the Canary Wharf Group estate, which it now co-owns with Brookfield. Alongside this, the Kuwaiti government has aggressively invested throughout the London Market, building a large central London portfolio in a short space of time.
Despite the uncertainty presented by the outcome of 2016, property experts expect further investments into the London market. The pound has been weakened, and if this continues, an influx of investments can be expected to be seen from countries such as; Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and South Africa.
The year has started with a bang but what will Q2 look like?