Investment in the region's commercial property market in the third quarter of 2014 reached £720m according to the latest research from Lambert Smith Hampton.
The figure represented a 131% increase on the same period in 2014. The LSH UK Investment Transactions report showed that total investment for the year so far is £2.1bn, which means that 2014 has topped all year on year totals since 2011 and is predicted to reach the highest level of investment since 2007.
According to LSH, North West activity is having a significant impact on total investment for the UK regions which totalled £6bn in the last quarter, the highest level since 2006. It is also the first time that investment in the regional markets has outstripped inflows into London since the start of 2011.
The quarterly figures were driven by transactions in the region across all sectors. These included the £75m purchase of One Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre by Legal & General, the £72m sale of Robin Retail Park, Wigan, to TIAA Henderson Real Estate and the £28.87m purchase of the DHL warehouse at XL Business Park in Skelmersdale by Tritax Big Box REIT.
Abid Jaffry, director and regional head of capital markets at LSH said: "Competition among investors continues in the region for both prime assets and those that offer add value opportunities. The North West is set to enjoy a record year in terms of returns and investment volumes.
"Investment in the region has escalated significantly with improved confidence on values and the strengthening occupier markets. In addition, the returns being offered in some of the secondary markets remain attractive to investors wishing to take advantage of the higher yields and positive occupier sentiment."