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Overseas Investors Capitalise Upon London Property Market

A number of overseas investors, predominantly Asian investors, have made a quick profit from the sale of some of the largest commercial buildings in the City of London as the commercial property boom, which has attracted investors from all over the world, shows few signs of abating anytime soon.

After the credit crunch came to an end in 2009, the companies that bought properties have made a fortune after cashing in over £3.4 billion in property and profiting from the sales to the tune of £870 million over the past two years.

The most profitable deal so far has been the sale of HSBC's headquarters in Canary Wharf last autumn by South Korea's National Pension Service which secured a deal for £1.2 billion and saw the Koreans pocketing over £400 million in profit. 

The total investment volume in Central London reached an astonishing £24.6 billion, a record amount that smashed the previous record set in 2013, according to figures supplied by Cushman & Wakefield.

The head of Cushman & Wakefield's central London investment team, James Beckham, said that the ever increasing number of prospective buyers from around the world has seen many property owners sell their properties to take advantage of the burgeoning demand from investors and cash in whilst prices are high.

Whilst Asian investors, predominantly Korean and Malaysian, have been responsible for some of the biggest deals over the past two years, according to Cushman & Wakefield the biggest buyers so far this year have been from Canada and the US, having invested more than £6.5 billion between them so far this year.

Whether the trend will continue is subject to debate, though as KPMG's head of UK real estate, Richard White, recently said, "As prices rise, the risk versus reward axis is looking increasingly out of kilter."


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