German investment in City of London reaches €1b in 2021

German investors have surged back into the City of London office market in 2021, investing £847 mln (€998 mln) up to mid-September, according to new research.

Professional real estate services firm Savills, whose Expo stand was already attracting visitors by 11 am on Monday, said that the figure represented a four-year high and the second highest investment volume since 2013.

The firm noted that the traditionally busiest quarter of the year was still to come.

Said Stephen Down, head of central London investment at Savills: 'There is a disproportionately high amount of money circling globally ready to be deployed into core assets and with City offices perceived to be a safe haven for capital they are a top target on investors’ shopping lists.

'German institutions in particular have been able to take advantage of their proximity to and knowledge of the London market, and have come back in earlier ahead of some buyers from the Middle East and Asia Pac, with yields in the City very attractive compared to those available in many of their domestic markets. Berlin prime office yields at the end of H1 were just 2.4%, for example.'

The international real estate advisor said that 2021 investment turnover by German buyers to date has reached 59%, up on 2020’s full year turnover of £532.5 mln and 194% up on 2019’s total of £287.8 mln. Currently, volumes this year are second only to 2017’s total of £1.182 bn.

According to Savills, German buyers have accounted for 20% of total City volume in the year to date. Key 2021 transactions include Union Investment’s purchase of 1 Braham Street, EC1, for an undisclosed amount and Deka buying 90 Fetter Lane, EC4, for approximately £118 mln.

Savills' prime city yield remains at a record low of 3.75%, after falling to this level in August.