While it’s private Hong Kong investors who have dominated the scene since the EU Referendum in 2016, the allure of London is widening.
Colliers (jointly with CBRE) recently acted for GPE in the disposal of the freehold interest of 30 Broadwick Street, the best new building in Soho. Comprising 94,300 sq ft of retail, restaurant and office accommodation, the building is let to an impressive range of tenants (including Drake's first U.K retail outlet) all of whom occupy the building on long leases at record high rents for Soho.
With 79% of purchases in Central London’s commercial investment market coming from abroad in 2017, the sales campaign for 30 Broadwick Street was focussed on international investors. This was achieved through travelling to Asia and liaising with our local international offices.
Here at home, the result of the EU Referendum is regarded as hugely significant on both sides of the argument; for or against, Brexit hasn’t left the national conversation since the day of the vote. In terms of the commercial property market, it’s seen domestic investors disposing of existing assets and refraining from acquiring new ones.
Globally, however, the UK’s imminent departure from the EU is seen as fairly trivial, at least among some investors. It’s the weakening of the pound that has piqued their interest: London’s property market is significantly more attractive, particularly to anywhere with a currency pegged to the US dollar.
For 30 Broadwick Street, that translated into strong interest from a diverse geographical spread of countries including Hong Kong, Spain, Germany, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Norway. Ultimately the property sold for £190 million, a record price per sq ft for a new Soho office building.