Investment passes £1bn in second quarter

Investment in North West commercial property totalled £1.09bn in April to June according to Lambert Smith Hampton's latest UK Investment Transactions report, compared to £277m in the first quarter.

Three deals dominated the Q2 results, with M&G Real Estate's acquisition of RBS blocks 1 Spinningfields Square and 1 Hardman Square in Manchester for £320m, LaSalle Investment Managers' purchase of Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington for £141m, and Schroder Property Investment Management's acquisition of City Tower in Manchester for £132m.

Transactions within the office market accounted for 51% of total investment activity in the second quarter at £561.8m, compared to £95.35m in the previous quarter.

Boosted by the Golden Square Shopping Centre deal, the retail and leisure sector accounted for 36.3% of total investment activity with £398.5m worth of transactions.

UK institutions were the largest net investors into the North West commercial property market, accounting for 76% of total investment volumes. The activity levels of oversees investors remained consistent, but the value of sales increased by £95.1m on the previous quarter.

Total investment in the region over the past 12 months reached £2.16bn.

Abid Jaffry, director and regional head of capital markets at LSH, said: "This quarter's figures have been punctuated by very large deals but overall the pick-up and shift in investment activity over the last few months means we have seen a fundamental change in the market: deal volumes are up; investors, especially UK institutions, are much more active in the regions; and the regions still offer better value compared to an over-heated London market."

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