London is the most active real estate market in the world for global cross-border capital, according to new data from Knight Frank.
In the first half of 2018, £5.6 bn (€6.2 bn) of international capital was invested in the London commercial real estate market. Hong Kong was second with £5 bn and Paris third with £1.9 bn.
'Despite the political turmoil surrounding the UK with Brexit, London is once again the most liquid real estate market in the world,' said Nick Braybrook, head of capital markets London, Knight Frank.
'It is more popular as a home for international investment than Paris Central, Manhattan, Munich and Frankfurt combined. Asian real estate investors continue to be the largest and one of the most important global capital exporters with South Korea and Singapore more active than previously. The largest five deals in the market this year have all involved Asian capital and this trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.'
Asian investors accounted for £4.4 bn (65%) of which Greater China led the way with £2.6 bn (38%) and £1.8 bn (27%) from other Far Eastern nations, with £906 mln of that from Singapore and £790 mln from South Korea.
The market is characterised by a broad range of investor types, the research said, including global institutions, equity funds and private capital, all of which value the ability to deploy capital in large lot sizes.
'Knight Frank’s global Wealth Report shows that many ultra high net worth individuals – which will see a further rapid growth of in the next five years globally – rank London as their first port of call for their maiden overseas property investments,' concluded Braybrook.