UK Commercial:

West End Investment Watch

West End Investment Watch
West End Investment Watch

15 May 2017, words by David Garland

Domestic sellers dominating in response to strong overseas demand

■ April saw volumes of £578m over 11 transactions, taking the total investment volume to £2.49bn, down 9% on this time last year.

■ On behalf of Aprirose, Savills has sold the Grosvenor Victoria Casino for £70m, reflecting a 4.29% net initial yield on the asset and a capital value of £984 per sq ft. The Freehold interest totals 71,138 sq ft of commercial space, currently in use as a casino, and an adjoining residential tower containing 48 apartments. The entirety is let on a RPI-linked lease to Grosvenor Casinos Ltd until September 2026, at which stage the tenant has an option to renew on reversionary open market terms.


■ Capital & Counties has sold the entire issued share capital of Olympia Exhibitions Group Limited, comprising Olympia London and related property assets totalling approximately 14 acres, to a consortium of German institutional investors. After repayment of debt, working capital adjustments and transaction-related costs, net proceeds equate to £229m. The sale had been marketed since November 2015.

■ WELPUT has sold 3 St James’s Square to Joint Treasure for £135m, reflecting a 3.96% net initial yield and a capital value of £2,609 per sq ft. The Freehold property totals 51,747 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation arranged over lower ground, ground and eight upper floors. The offices are multi-let to ten tenants for a weighted average unexpired term of six years to break options at an average annual rent of £107 per sq ft.

■ Unsurprisingly the corollary to strong overseas demand is domestic sellers. The sales market is being dominated by UK private property companies and REITs with over 45% of turnover (£1.17bn year to date). To put in context this sector has already accounted for 96% of the 10 yearly average turnover. It feels too early to comment as to whether these categories of sellers will exceed the 2015 record of £2.28bn but based on current market conditions we expect these vendor profiles will continue to dominate.


Prop Co / REIT Sales Turnover

Graph 1

Source: Savills Research

■ Savills was involved in over 25% of transactions by volume across the first four months of the year, and with over £450m of live sales the lead into summer will be particularly busy.

■ Savills prime yield remains at 3.25%, whilst both the IPD average equivalent yield and IPD net initial yields have moved in to 4.72% and 3.21%, respectively (see Graph 2). The IPD equivalent yield has now moved in 17bps in the last four months.


West End yields

Graph 2

Source: Savills Research, IPD


Key Deals in April 2017

Table 1

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