Commercial property transactions in central London reached £2.9bn for November, which has boosted the year-to-date figures to £15.4bn.The current total for "under offers" is £3.8bn and there are other major deals in the pipeline, suggesting that 2014 is due to become one of the most active years on record.
These figures include all commercial property investment transactions, but exclude hotels. It indicates an increase in speed of deals from October’s figure of £1.2bn, but the overall 2014 figure may be below the record of £22.4bn which was set in 2013.
The biggest deal during November was the purchase of 30 St Mary Axe, EC3, by the Safra family at £725m. Northacre purchased the Metropolitan Police headquarters located at 10 Broadway, SW1 for £350m. Eight lots were transacted during last month to a value of £100m plus. Three out of four £100m plus transactions were concluded off-market, indicating a continued shortage of high-value stock on the market.
DTZ Research is indicating a record £89bn being targeted toward European commercial property, with one third, or £28bn, being targeted at the UK. There is a strong demand for core assets in London from both private and institutional investors. Investors seeking prime assets above £200m have very few options to consider in Europe which offer the liquidity and size within central London.
London still offers excellent investment prospects for those seeking income growth, with submarkets experiencing double-digit growth in rentals during the current year. It is expected that City rental growth will reach double digits during next year, which may exceed West End growth during 2015. Record rents have been achieved in King’s Cross and the City of London these past few months. The global oil company, Trafigura, is said to be locked in talks to secure space at 30 Berkeley Square at a price nearing £150 per sq ft, which, if achieved, would set a record for the highest office rent ever to be paid within the UK.