The Real Deal New York

Brexit isn’t stopping foreign buyers from scooping up London office buildings

It’s the top spot for real estate investment from overseas
August 23, 2018 12:30PM

A view of Big Ben overlaid with british currency (Credit: iStock)

Investors are flocking to London — Brexit be damned.

Foreign buyers spent more on commercial property in the city in the first half of this year than in central Paris, Manhattan, Munich and Frankfurt combined. It’s made the city the top spot for real estate investment from overseas, Bloomberg reported.

The weaker pound has made London prices more appealing for the buyers, which were led by Hong Kong billionaires and Korean securities firms. Overseas investors spent 5.6 billion pounds ($7.2 billion) on London offices in the six months through June.

The biggest deals include the 1 billion-pound purchase of UBS Group’s 5 Broadgate office by Hong Kong’s CK Asset Holdings — as well as the 650 million-pound purchase of Ropemaker Place by Singapore’s Ho Bee Land.

Korea’s National Pension Service’s 1.2 billion-pound deal for Goldman Sachs’s new London headquarters in the second-largest deal ever for an office building in London.

At the same time, Chinese buyers’ enthusiasm for the city has dimmed. Brexit and uncertainty about the U.K. economy have added to the caution.[Bloomberg] — Meenal Vamburkar