The recent announcement of the exchange of contracts for the sale of HSBC Headquarters in Canary Wharf to the National Pension Service of Korea continues the key trend of 2009 which has seen overseas buyers dominate the Central London investment market accounting for 80% of turnover.
Latest research from CB Richard Ellis shows that since Q1 there has been a healthy recovery in investment volumes and, importantly, a stabilization and subsequent modest recompression of prime yields.
Kevin McCauley, Head of Central London Research at CB Richard Ellis said: "Driven by renewed demand, particularly from overseas buyers, investment surged to £2.7 bln. (aaprox. 3 bln.) in the third quarter of 2009, pushing total investment to £6.2 billion for the year to date. Of this, foreign buyers have invested £4.9 billion accounting for 80% of total investment - the highest proportion ever. In comparison, over the last ten years, overseas investment has been 46% on average."
Tony McCurley, Head of CB Richard Ellis' Central London Business team said: "The surge from overseas buyers suggests that the Central London investment market is now perceived as offering good value. The latest wave of overseas investment has come from a wide variety of sources USA, Lebanon, Oman, Korea, Libya and Ireland.
"London has again proved itself to be one of the most efficient real estate markets and the level of re-pricing beyond long term averages has attracted capital from around the world. The relative value of Sterling against other major currencies is also a factor."