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