A recent survey conducted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests that overseas investors are likely to show greater interest in UK commercial property in 2017.
However, the survey did suggest that commercial properties in London would experience negative growth, given expectations that firms based in the capital would look to relocate. In fact, 32% of participants from central London claimed to have seen evidence that firms are looking to do so.
The weakness of the pound is still a major incentive for overseas investors, despite recent increases in valuation spurred by Theresa May’s speech. The pound rose to recent ‘highest-lows’ following confirmation that Brexit is still to be decided by a parliamentary vote.
RICS Chief Economist, Simon Robinson said the survey indicated that “the commercial property market is continuing to attract investor interest despite ongoing concerns about pricing in the capital” and that the feedback was “consistent with a renewed appetite from overseas buyers for UK assets”.
The Property Industry Alliance (PIA) are also in agreement that 2017 is likely to see continued support from overseas investors – who currently account for 28% of commercial UK real estate – with Brexit again providing the opportunities.
The PIA takes a different stance, vowing that Britain’s decision to leave the EU provides investors with opportunities in the form of fairer tax policies, given the prime minister’s recent suggestions, and much less in the way of red tape.
Indeed, the PIA were keen to point out that EU procurement regulations can be inefficient, complicated and thus misunderstood. By streamlining the process, UK commercial property investment volume would be set to increase significantly.
Investors showed continued support for UK property in the final quarter of 2016, with positive returns. The inevitable future offers easier and more profitable means for investment and more firms are continuing to build unique developments.
It’s starting to look like a promising 2017 from an investment perspective.