Property investment increases across West Midlands

Property investment increases across West Midlands

Investment in commercial property across the region totalled £2.66bn in 2015 – 6% above the 2014 total of £2.51bn, according to new research published by Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH).

The buoyant regional figures are revealed in the latest edition of LSH’s UK Investment Transactions report (UKIT), which also shows record figures for the UK market as a whole.

Across the West Midlands, the office sector accounted for 31% of investments at £822m, with retail second at £744m.

The figures show that 2015’s performance was 54% above the five-year average and 49% above the region’s 10-year average.

Key deals in the region include the sale of the NEC for £307m to LDC; Orion Capital Managers’ acquisition of Telford Shopping Centre for £250 million; Colmore Plaza, in Birmingham city centre, which was sold for £140m to Ashby Capital LLP; and 7, 8, and 10 Brindleyplace, which was acquired by VGV for £131m.

Adam Ramshaw, head of region for LSH in Birmingham and the East Midlands, said: “Although Q4 transaction figures for the West Midlands fell to £0.32bn from £0.63bn in Q4, the overall picture for the region remained positive.

“Birmingham continues to attract huge amounts of interest from businesses and overseas investors, thanks to the fact that it represents very good value for money compared with London.”

Overseas investors were instrumental to the record year. Inflows from foreign buyers rose by 9% year-on-year and accounted for a record 50% share of total UK volume. North America was the dominant buyer, making up 46% of overseas investment.

Ezra Nahome, CEO of Lambert Smith Hampton, said: “The commercial property investment market enjoyed a stellar 2015 and the outlook for the year ahead remains positive.

“If anything, political developments arguably pose the greatest risks to the market. A period of uncertainty in the run-up to the UK’s referendum on the EU, coupled with a sense that some of the value has gone from the market, may weigh down investment activity. However, while 2015’s record annual volume is unlikely to be repeated this year, we should see activity to remain well above the recent average.”