The City of London property market is seeing a boost of investment from Asia, with the amount spent on office blocks by South Koreans about to reach a record high.
They are expected to have invested £3 billion by the end of this year, according to Savills, the property consultancy, making them the largest foreign buyers. The National Pension Service of Korea, the third largest public pension fund in the world, has already made the biggest property transaction this year with the purchase of Goldman Sachs’ new headquarters near Holborn for £1.16 billion, the second highest sum ever paid for a building in the UK.
Stephen Down, head of central London investment at Savills, said Brexit was not a concern for South Koreans: “They wouldn’t be here if they were worried and they are here. We were there [in South Korea] for two days last week where we had 14 meetings and the general feeling is they are all looking to invest. They have been busy and active.” He said they were taking a medium to long-term view.
Savills said Asian investors have accounted for 60 per cent of investment in the City, with £4.77 billion in transactions so far this year.
There had been fears that the London property market would dry up after the Brexit vote, but the fall in the value of the pound has led to a surge of buyers from Asia, who were also attracted by Britain’s property law.
The interest South Korean investors have in the London office property market is no surprise, given the huge demand for coworking and shared office spaces in their home market.