UK Commercial:

West End Investment Watch

West End Investment Watch
West End Investment Watch

15 June 2017, words by David Garland

Asian investment dominating, driven by continued appetite for larger lot sizes

■ May saw volumes of £581m over 11 transactions, three of which over £100m and the largest advised by Savills. This takes the total investment volume to £3.16bn, down 7% on this time last year. Interestingly the number of transactions is however down by 30%.

■ Savills, advising SIM on behalf of the Malaysian Employees Provident Fund, has sold the freehold interest of 11-12 St James’s Square to Chinese Estates for £174.99m, reflecting a 4.44% net initial yield, 3.52% equivalent yield and a capital value of £2,112 per sq ft.


Originally built as two separate residences in the 18th and 19th Century, respectively, the property was fully refurbished in 2007 and now comprises 82,859 sq ft of high quality office accommodation. The property is fully let to seven tenants at an overall rent of approximately £100 per sq ft. This was the third sale on the square in the past five months, with the assets totalling over half a billion, all trading to Asian investors.

■ Standard Life have sold 105 Wigmore Street to Selfridges for £135m, reflecting a 3.38% net initial yield and a capital value of £2,033 per sq ft. The freehold office-led mixed-use building totals 67,737 sq ft and is fully occupied by six commercial and four residential tenants with a WAULT of circa 6.4 years to expiries. Upon completion the Weston family/Selfridges will control the whole island site, estimated to be around five acres, bounded by Oxford Street, Orchard Street, Wigmore Street and Duke Street.

■ NFU has sold 27 Knightsbridge to Motcomb, owned by David and Simon Reuben, for £110m, reflecting a capital value of £1,691 per sq ft. The long leasehold property totals 65,051 sq ft of office accommodation arranged over nine floors. The property has a short unexpired term with the ability to obtain vacant possession of the whole within 12 months.

■ There has already been 10 transactions over £100m totalling £2.175bn so far this year, a record in terms of both number and volume of deals over this size, (see Graph 1). Asian investors have contributed to over 49% of transactions over £100m by volume compared to 19% over the whole of 2016 (see Graph 2) with the average deal size for the region now standing at £126m.


Transactions over £100 million

Graph 1

Source: Savills Research – accurate to end of May 17


Purchaser profile over £100 million

Graph 2

Source: Savills Research – accurate to end of May 17

■ The IPD average equivalent yield has moved in to 4.70% whilst the initial yield has moved out to 3.27% this month. Savills prime yield remains at 3.25%.


West End yields

Graph 3

Source: Savills Research, IPD


Key Deals in May 2017

Table 1

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