Cash-rich overseas investors’ growing appetite for London property continues to push up prices and block UK investors.
This week, a prime residential redevelopment opportunity in the heart of Victoria, SW1, has gone under offer at more than £10m above the asking price.
A private Korean investor is understood to have bid £91m for the 180,000 sq ft Great Minster House North.
The vendors, Irish investor Grattan and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, had been seeking £80m – a 7.25% yield – for the block.
About eight parties bid for the property, let to the Department for Transport until 2018, including Delancey, PRUPIM, British Land, Berkeley, Barratt, Sellar Property Group and Land Securities, with five offers above asking.
One agent who missed out on the opportunity for his client said UK firms were being outbid all over the capital.
“If you look at some of the most high-profile Mayfair and Oxford Street deals recently, it is clear that the majority of properties have been sold to non-UK parties,” he said. “This has led domestic buyers to look at slightly less competitive areas where there is a growth story.”
Overseas buyers accounted for 71% of central London investment volumes in the first quarter of this year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Activity from Korean investors has been even stronger, with a report from Jones Lang LaSalle showing that global investment levels from South Korea have surged 900% year-on-year to total more than £3.2bn since the start of 2013.
DTZ, which is advising on the sale, declined to comment.