London real estate firm doubles investment volume for Q1
A London real estate agent has announced that investment volumes in the area nearly doubled to £997m for the first quarter of the year.
Knight Frank reported that UK funds and local authorities were increasingly active as the quarter progressed, and a number of assets went under offer to private equity before the country went into lockdown.
The market was dominated by three significant business park transactions, accounting for 58 per cent of all activity, and all sold to Singaporean and Chinese buyers.
The largest transaction was the sale of Building 7, Chiswick Park for £312m, which attracted over £1.5bn of equity across a number of bids from overseas investors.
Emma Goodford, head of national offices commented: “From early March the impact of Covid-19 was beginning to be discussed and a number of occupiers were taking longer to make decisions.
“By the end of March, the focus was on the health of their workforce and a transition to working from home.
“The south east has a diverse range of sectors and while travel and retail do make up a proportion of sector presence the TMT, healthcare and online retail sectors have a strong presence and are expected to remain robust.”
Simon Rickards, partner at Knight Frank, added: “We are facing unprecedented times and the stark slowdown in activity since early March reflects this.
“Whilst the magnitude and depth of COVID-19 remains unknown, we are confident that the South East office market is well positioned to weather the storm relatively well.
“Let’s not forget vacancy rates remain low, limited development is occurring, and tenants still demand quality office stock.
“There remains a significant amount of equity that would like to invest into the market but, for the time being, will need to hold off whilst events unfold.”
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