Investment gaining momentum, says LSH

The total value of commercial property investment transactions in the North West during the first quarter of 2014 rose by 31% on the corresponding period last year to £277.7m, according to Lambert Smith Hampton's latest UK Investment Transactions report.

LSH said regional markets were continuing to receive more attention from investors as prime central London prices rise out of the reach of many parties. UK institutions were the largest net investors into the North West market, accounting for 37% of investment in Q1. Net overseas investment dropped by 20% on the previous quarter, to £46.1m, on the back of an increase in asset sales.

The most significant deals included SWIP Property Trust's acquisition of Sunlight House, Manchester for £34.5m at a net initial yield of 6.3%, Helical Bar's purchase of Churchgate House & Lee House for £34m and CBRE Global Investors' purchase of the Circus leisure complex on Portland Street for £24.45m, both reflecting a net initial yield of 5.7%.

Abid Jaffry, regional head of capital markets at LSH, said: "Although investment volumes are lower than the exceptional levels recorded during the final few months of 2013, there is little doubt that the market revival is gaining significant momentum behind it thanks to the recovering economy, lack of new supply and improving occupier confidence.

"UK buyers remain key investors, accounting for 64% of total activity in Q1 and although we have seen a reduction in net inflows from overseas investors during the first three months of the year, we're continuing to see increased interest from overseas buyers looking for opportunities within the region."

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