50%+ of City of London Commercial Property Belongs to non-British Firms

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Over 50% of London’s financial quarter is owned by foreign firms. Less than 50% of City of London commercial property is now owned by British property owners according to recent reports.

The majority of London commercial property in the City district is now owned by foreign investors for the first time ever, according to a survey carried out by Development Securities PLC.

Currently 52% of office properties in London’s financial district are owned by foreign investors, meaning that London has overtaken New York City as the city which attracts the most foreign investment in the world.

The rise of foreign investors owning London commercial property in the City has risen since the 1980s when only 8% of offices were owned by non-British nationals.

This increased to 25% during the mid-1990s with foreign investors being encouraged to invest in one of the world’s financial capitals by successive governments.

Although the UK has struggled with the economic financial crisis which has enveloped much of Europe, the City has attracted extra investment keeping it immune from the worst of the economic fallout.

The report praises foreign firms’ funding for keeping the City’s liquidity despite the sharp rises and drops across London’s financial district since the recession. This continual investment has been helped by the City not implementing capital gains tax on any sites which are sold to foreign investors.

Michael Marx, the chief executive of Development Securities said: “London’s attractiveness to foreign investors has clearly been undeterred by the widespread economic turmoil.

City offices are perceived to offer quality and transparency — a ‘safe haven’ for foreign buyers,” he added.

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