Commercial property investment up 84%, says Colliers

Jonathan Mills ColliersProperty investment transactions in the North West have risen in value by more than 84% in the first quarter of 2015, the biggest increase for any region outside of London, according to Colliers International.

Latest research by the real estate advisor showed that international and domestic institutional investors invested £746m in commercial property across in the region in the first three months of 2015, compared with £404m in the same period of 2014.

Colliers said that increasing concerns about the world's geo-political risks and Europe Middle East and Africa economic uncertainties led more international investors to seek out opportunities in the UK, which is seen as a safe haven for their money.

The North West benefited specifically from a heightened and increasingly positive profile both in the UK and overseas thanks to the Government's commitment to a Northern Powerhouse.

Historically low interest rates in the UK have also led to an increase in fund allocation to property that offers relatively higher returns than other asset classes.

Jonathan Mills, director of national investment in the North West office of Colliers in Manchester, said: "Increased government impetus on promoting cities such as Liverpool and Manchester may be encouraging institutional and other investors, who may have been sitting on the fence, to make bigger commitments to the North West.

"In addition to local organic economic growth, property investors are no doubt expecting more companies to flock to the regions, for example, HSBC relocating its retail banking to Birmingham, and therefore increasing occupancy levels further with broader based rental growth following, especially in the offices market."

The rise in institutional investment for the region outperformed the increase for the whole of the UK which saw a 20% rise year on year, with a predicted value of £13.5bn to £15bn.

London remained the biggest attraction for investors with about £7bn of deals secured in the capital in the first quarter, up from £4.3bn in the first quarter of 2014, while the West Midlands saw an increase in investment value of £26m to £926m.

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