Commercial property investors are homeward bound

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 | COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

UK commercial property investors are flocking back to Britain in light of a downturn in global markets, making them realise that there is no place like home.

According to Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS) commercial investors are retreating from business property abroad – an
inevitable occurrence when the market is weak.

“International flows tend to be the first area where the crisis manifests itself. People tend to retreat, they tend to invest in things they know about,” he said.

Mr Rubinsohn's comments follow a report from CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), which found that London tends to be seen as a "safe haven" due to its architecture as well as its financial structure, despite the impact of the credit crunch.

The city had been responsible for 27 per cent of all cross-regional global property investment transactions last year and during the first half of 2010.

Rubinsohn said, “Activity abroad was 'substantially lower,' with a greater decline in such purchases seen in North America.

“People were previously more willing to expand their horizons, but since then there has been a greater trend for 'comfortable' buying,” he added.

According to Rubinsohn, London is 'particularly appealing and this is partly due to its role in world finance.'


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