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Overseas investors spent £144.3bn on London offices over two decades

03 January 2019

Foreign buyers have invested £144.3 billion in London commercial property over the past two decades and are still buying despite Brexit, new research showed on Wednesday.

Agent CBRE revealed its office property data as industry experts insisted Brexit will not have a “material impact” on future appetite to spend here.

The firm said overseas investment into central London has increased steadily since 1999 (see data below). Buyers from Germany and the US were dominant in the Noughties, followed by Middle Eastern companies between 2009 and 2013. Between 2014 and Q3 2018, international buyers spent £56.5 billion, with Asian companies featuring heavily.

There have been recent concerns that Britain leaving the EU will lead businesses to scrap office moves and leave landlords with fewer rental growth prospects. But senior industry figures were bullish today.

CBRE’s James Beckham said: “Brexit isn’t likely to have a material impact on the appetite to invest in Europe’s only truly global gateway city.”

Alisa Zotimova, boss of AZ Real Estate, said: “This year will prove that London’s fundamentals such as legal stability, cultural diversity and being a English-speaking business hub are too strong to be beaten for too long.”

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