Prospect of Brexit bargains makes UK top spot for property

UK top destination for major European investors to snap up commercial property next year

 Investors are looking to Brexit Britain. Photograph: Bryn Colton/Bloomberg

Investors are looking to Brexit Britain. Photograph: Bryn Colton/Bloomberg

 

Europeans may not think much of the UK’s politics, but they still like the look of its real estate.

Brexit Britain will be the top destination for major European investors to snap up commercial property next year, according to a survey of executives managing more than £500 billion of real estate conducted by Knight Frank. More than a fifth of those who took part said the UK would be their top pick, up from around 12 per cent the previous year -- when Germany was their favorite destination.

Prices for the best UK real estate have been mostly stable since the Brexit vote in 2016. As a result, Britain has become cheaper than markets like France and Germany, where returns have shrunk in recent years as buyers have piled in. That, coupled with the impact of a weak pound -- making investments cheaper for foreign buyers -- has helped the UK market stay remarkably resilient in the face of prolonged political and economic uncertainty.

“The emergence of the UK as the European market of choice in 2019 is interesting, suggesting many think that pricing looks attractive,” said Chris Bell, Europe managing director at Knight Frank. The London-based broker based its survey on responses from 155 investors.– Bloomberg