Far Eastern investors demonstrated an ‘insatiable appetite’ for UK commercial and industrial property in Q4 2018 – according to Lambert Smith Hampton’s latest UK Investment Transactions Bulletin.
The bulletin says that at £8.1bn Q4 overseas investment was 16% above the five year quarterly average. It was dominated by Far Eastern investors, primarily as a result of some exceptionally large individual deals. These investors spent £4.8bn in Q4, underpinned by a single Malaysian investment in Battersea Power Station, taking the 2018 total to a record £12.6bn.
Investment from other locations was subdued, the report says. North America and the Middle East recorded their lowest annual volumes in six years. However, total overseas volume was still £27.9bn in 2018, a third above the ten year annual average.
Ezra Nahome, CEO at Lambert Smith Hampton comments: “Q4’s healthy volume is clear testimony to the resilience of UK real estate, regardless of the political chaos around Brexit.
“This is particularly true of investment from overseas, where the current uncertain environment could be seen by many as a buying opportunity.”
He forecasts: “Whilst the market currently hangs in the balance, I am nonetheless upbeat about 2019 overall. Assuming a no deal Brexit scenario is avoided, I expect to see activity bouncing back strongly in the second half of the year. And, even if the worst should happen, fears of a calamitous fall in volumes and values akin to a decade ago are hard to justify.”
It is no secret that Far Eastern investors have ramped up their interest in the UK in recent years. However, these figures confirm just how substantial their involvement now is.