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NEWSLETTER | 19 Nov 2020  
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London real estate market is alive and kicking

The focus is on London this week with a raft of stories demonstrating that, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, there's still plenty of life in the capital's real estate market.

According to Savills, investment turnover in the West End topped GBP1 billion in October spread across 10 transactions. The cumulative annual total now stands at GBP2.97 billion – some 50 per cent down on the average for the previous five years – but in a sign that a real estate recovery is well underway, last month's figure was the highest October volume ever recorded.

"The marked increase in activity can partly be attributed to investors’ continued appetite for, and arguably heightened focus on, prime assets but also to the scale of some of the transactions in question," says Paul Cockburn, head of the West End investment team at Savills.

CIT and Foster + Partners meanwhile, are doing their bit to help the UK become carbon neutral by 2050 by constructing the capital's first net-zero carbon workplace and commercial hub on the banks of the Thames. Located at the foot of London Bridge, Colechurch House will replace a redundant 1960s office block with 46,200 sq m (497,292 sq ft) of cutting edge, eco-friendly space.

Over in Fitzrovia, it's a combination of high tech and heritage for MAPFRE with the company having acquired historic Yalding House, which served as the HQ of BBC Radio for over 60 years, and is now home to Slack Technologies, provider of a growing business communication platform.

Staying with London office acquisitions, Colliers International's City Investment team has sold 4 St John's Lane in Farringdon on behalf of a private client to a European investor for GBP17.6 million. The 19,664 sq ft property, which is known as Knight’s Quarter, is leased to law firm Kingsley Napley.

Residential gets a look in too, with news of a GBP33 million investment in the London Borough of Barnet by Kooky, a new 'boutique' build-to-rent (BTR) brand. The company has acquired 30 units within Millbrook Park, in the wider redevelopment of the former Army Barracks in Mill Hill, and a block of 39 apartments within Oakleigh Grove, Whetstone. And with both locations less than 30 mins from Euston and Kings Cross via the Northern Line, the company is expecting the properties to prove popular with London renters. 

“We are confident that Mill Hill and Whetstone will achieve high rental demand; both offer a wide array of local amenities," says Howard Crocker, Managing Director of Kooky.

And finally, the Land Promoters and Developers Federation (LPDF) is urging the UK government to keep it promise to 'build back better' after the coronavirus pandemic, and tackle housing shortages in the capital and throughout the country, by delivering the changes needed to support the construction of more than 300,000 new homes each year.

"This Government has a huge opportunity," says LPDF chairman Paul Brocklehurst. "It can reset the housing delivery debate. Now. Quickly. In so doing, it can fulfil its promise to ‘build back better’ and seize an unlikely opportunity out of this global pandemic of 2020."

Property Funds World


October turnover exceeds GBP1bn in London's West End as market continues to absorb more core assets
Tue | 24 Nov 2020, 00:19
In a sign of continued liquidity and sustained investor appetite for core, well-located assets, investment turnover in October reached GBP1.09 billion, spread across 10 transactions, according to the latest research from Savills. 
CIT and Foster + Partners submit plans for first net-zero carbon commercial hub for London
Tue | 24 Nov 2020, 00:19
With the UK’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2050, CIT and Foster + Partners want to help realise this ambition sooner, submitting a planning application for London’s first ever net-zero carbon workplace and commercial hub at Colechurch House, on the banks of the Thames.
MAPFRE acquires historic London building through real estate fund with GLL
Tue | 24 Nov 2020, 00:19
MAPFRE has acquired an office building in London's Fitzrovia, where many of the capital’s technology giants are based. 
Colliers secures new owners for Farringdon office block following GBP17.6m sale
Tue | 24 Nov 2020, 00:19
Colliers International’s City Investment team has sold 14 St John’s Lane, London EC1, on behalf of their private client to a European investor for GBP17.6 million. The price achieved, above asking, represented GBP895 per sq ft and an initial yield of 4.2 per cent.
Kooky invests over GBP33m in London Borough of Barnet
Tue | 24 Nov 2020, 00:19
Kooky, a new boutique BTR brand, has acquired 69 units located in Mill Hill and Whetstone, investing over GBP33 million in the London Borough of Barnet in the process.  
LPDF urges UK PM to seize opportunity to ‘build back better’
Tue | 24 Nov 2020, 00:19
Boris Johnson’s government has a huge opportunity to reset the housing debate - and keep its promise to both ‘build back better’ and plan for them more quickly - by delivering the changes needed to support the construction of more than 300,000 new homes each year.

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