Property firm reports growth in second half of 2016, despite Brexit uncertainty
London’s commercial office market is continuing to attract large scale investment despite post-Brexit uncertainty, according to one of the UK’s largest property companies.
British Land, the company behind the recent sale of the Leadenhall Building – or the ‘Cheesegrater’ – in London has said that the capital remains a key location for multinational organisations such as banks and finance institutions, who are looking to find high quality office space in the city.
Following the £1.15bn sale of the landmark building to Chinese company CC Land, British Land highlighted a continuing level of interest from international investors – despite the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Chief executive of British Land, Chris Grigg, admitted that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit remains for many in the market, but that the political shift had not minimised interest in the city’s prime office spaces.
‘Although we are seeing businesses taking longer to commit and being more thorough in assessing options, we see polarisation of both occupier and investor demand accelerating with an increasing focus on the best quality space,’ said Grigg.
Despite registering a 1.4% decline in the value of its portfolio over the course of 2016 to £13.9bn, British Land reported in March that the second half of the year saw a 1.6% increase – indicating a brighter outlook for the London market heading into 2017.
Commenting on the immediate future of London’s commercial office market, Grigg said: ‘We expect London to continue as a leading global city reflecting its diverse pool of intellectual capital and reputation for innovation, as well as its culture, language and strong regulatory and legal framework.’
Despite the London commercial property market remaining popular with investors, residential rents in the city have fallen by 7.5% over the past year, according to lettings agent Your Move.