UK Commercial:

City Investment Watch

City Investment Watch
City Investment Watch

15 August 2017, words by Ben Raywood

Walkie-Talkie sale boosts turnover to 51% up on this point last year

Market comment and notable deals

■ July turnover was £2.1bn across 11 deals, equating to an average lot size of £190.92m. The sale of The Walkie-Talkie, 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3 accounted for 61% of July's turnover. Total turnover for the year has now reached £7.4bn across 77 deals (£96.10m avg lot size), which is 51% up on this point last year. The rolling 12-month total turnover is currently £10.6bn, 41% up on the long-term average.

 

GRAPH 1

City 12-month rolling turnover

 
Graph 1

Source: Savills Research – accurate to end of July 17

■ In the City market, we are currently monitoring 57 investment opportunities totalling circa £4.1bn. Of which, 22 are currently under-offer totalling circa £0.8bn, leaving an estimated £3.3bn worth of available opportunities. The 10 largest available assets account for 75% of total availability.

■ A notable July deal saw Infinitus Property Investment acquire The Walkie-Talkie, 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3 for £1,282.5m, reflecting 3.4% and £1,799/ sq ft. The building is let to 16 tenants including Kiln Underwriting, Markel, Royal Sun Alliance and Liberty Mutual Insurance Ltd. The 713,054 sq ft trophy asset currently has a WAULT of 15 years. The Canary Wharf Group and Landsec both sold their 50% stakes, resulting in a record sale for a single UK asset.

■ July also saw the sale of 20 Canada Square, E14 to a private Asian investor for £410m, 5.36% and £705/sq ft. The 581,457 sq ft virtual freehold building is fully let to McGraw Hill International until January 2028, and BP International until March 2027. Savills advised the purchaser.

■ At the end of July, Asian investors have continued to be the most active accounting for 63% of City turnover. They are followed by European investors at 17%, and UK investors at 11%. However, activity from the Middle East and the US remains relatively quiet accounting for 5% and 3% respectively. Investors from other regions account for the remainder of turnover.

■ There have been 17 transactions so far this year exceeding £100m totalling £5.8bn, compared with 19 across the whole of 2016, which totalled £4.4bn.

GRAPH 2

City transactions over £100 million

 
Graph 2

Source: Savills Research – accurate to end of July 17

■ Furthermore, the average yield for purchases over £100m has reduced from 4.97% last year to 4.57% this year.

■ The average WAULT for the £100m+ transactions has risen from 10 years in 2016, to 13 years to date in 2017.

■ Savills prime City yield remains at 4.00%. The spread between the City and the West End is still just 75bps with the West End prime yield currently at 3.25%.

GRAPH 3

City & West End average prime yield

 
Graph 3

Source: Savills Research – accurate to end of July 17

TABLE 1

Key deals in July 2017

 
Table 1

Source: Savills Research

 
 

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Ben Raywood

Ben Raywood

Associate
Commercial Research

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 7409 8791