Chinese investors poured nearly $4B into London CRE

Yuan appreciated against the pound

London skyline and the yuan
London skyline and the yuan

Though commercial deals in London waned in Brexit’s wake, investors from China and Hong Kong purchased approximately $3.75 billion in the city’s real estate last year.

The yuan appreciated by 12 percent against the British pound since June, when the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, the Wall Street Journal reported. That, along with expected restrictions on outbound capital from China, has investors flocking to London.

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The capitalization rate on offices in London’s West End hit 4.2 percent last year — a return that has other investors backing away from the market. But compared to Hong Kong, where the cap rate was 2.6 percent, such deals are attractive.

Meanwhile, Chinese investors are taking “a wait-and-see approach” when it comes to deals in the United States, Alistair Meadows, head of U.K. Capital Markets at JLL, told the Journal. New York City real estate has long been a go-to for foreign investors, but Donald Trump’s victory may shift some of that cash to the U.K. [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel