London office investments top of the global league

In spite of Brexit the London property market has attracted more investment globally than any other city.

London skyline at night
Brexit uncertainty has failed to dampen international interest in the London office property market with the capital attracting more investment than any other global city over the course of last year, according to a new analysis.

London attracts more investment than any other global city

While China remained the largest overseas investor, its investments dropped sharply compared to 2017 amid an economic slowdown and its trade dispute with the US.The analysis of Knight Frank’s 'London Report 2019' by commercial property specialists Savoy Stewart, found that, during 2018, 14.8 million square feet was let in the London office market, the highest level for four years and 15 per cent above the long-term average.Based on the Knight Frank report, Savoy Stewart found that London saw greater volumes of commercial real estate investment than any other global city last year with more than £16 billion of transactions.

Chinese investments down, whilst South Korea Singapore and Israel invest more

Darren Best, managing director of, commented, “London is the hub of debate amid Brexit. There is a lot of expectation regarding its future power as our capital and, in turn, our future power as a country. But we shouldn’t get caught up in what we don’t know; the what ifs and the maybes."We should focus on what we do know; the facts and figures. In the two-and-a-half years since the vote, we have maintained healthy investment and a healthy workforce."It is really encouraging to see that, despite some pitfalls and perhaps a slowed pace, interest in London office investment is burning through, with notable interest from South Korea, Singapore and Israel. A real melting pot of possibility."The way we do business is changing, and it is certain to change further, but it is not ending. We will continue to thrive, but in a different way.”

Growth in workforce requires more office space

The analysis pointed to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that, in the two years following the referendum on EU membership, London’s workforce saw a net growth of 278,000."The information and communication sector accounted for 26 per cent of these new roles, while the financial sector has seen close to 6,000 jobs created since the vote, disproving some concern over job loss and relocation," said Savoy Stewart.According to the report, China accounted for 42 per cent of London office investment in 2017, but this halved last year amid China's economic downturn. Indigenous investment represented 16 per cent in 2017 but rose marginally last year.Meanwhile, both German and US activity fell year-on-year but this was more than offset by a rapid growth in investments from South Korea and Singapore.Enter the 2019 Relocate Awards in-text bannerSubscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory

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