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Brexit Bounce: Another Asian Investor Snaps Up London Property


Brexit has not deterred Chinese investors from placing large sums into London property, including two sizable deals in March.

Grosvenor Group sold its Fleet Place House mixed-use development in the City of London to Beijing Shokai Group for £96.5M.

Grosvenor fund manager Scott Rowland said that since acquiring Fleet Place House in 2013, it has upgraded the property's common areas and amenities and reconfigured the tenant lineup. The office and retail asset now offers Grade A office, retail and ancillary accommodation comprising approximately 92K SF arranged over basement, ground and eight upper floors. Savills acted for Beijing Shokai, and BNP Paribas Real Estate represented Grosvenor. 

The day after the purchase of Fleet Place House was announced, Chinese developer R&F Properties bought the iconic Nestlé Tower in Croydon and surrounding development sites for a price believed to be just under £60M, marking its debut in European real estate.  

Asian firms have been extraordinarily active in London’s commercial property market since Brexit, defying fears that uncertainty would keep investors away. Here are 10 of the biggest deals:

28 June 2016 — Magnificent Hotel Investment spent £70.3M to buy the Travelodge RoyalScot Hotel at 100 Kings Cross Road.

15 July 2016 — China’s Dalian Wanda secured a £500M loan from PingAn bank for London’s Nine Elms regeneration scheme.

19 July 2016 — Hong Kong-based YT Realty acquired a central London asset for £42.3M. Let to Travelodge, the building generated a gross annual rental yield of about £2M last year, according to a filing to Hong Kong Exchange.

21 July 2016 — Sichuan Guodong Construction invested £1B in Sheffield. The initial investment will be £220M over the next three years, and is expected to include hotel developments, student housing, retail and leisure space.  

5 September 2016 — Greenland Group launched its £800M luxury residential development, Spire London, in London Docklands. At 771 feet high, the 67-storey residential tower will be the tallest in the UK and Western Europe. 

24 October 2016 — Kingboard Chemical Holdings purchased WeWork’s European headquarters at Moor Place, 1 Fore St., for £271M.  

8 November 2016 — Asian Growth Properties acquired 20 Moorgate for £154M. The seven-storey office building with retail and ancillary accommodation is in the heart of London, less than 100 meters from the Bank of England.

7 January 2017 — China Life and Brookfield bought Aldgate Tower for £346M.

30 January 2017 — A private Asian investor snapped up 7-8 St. James's Square, a 62K SF office development, for £245.9M.  

1 March 2017 — CC Land, owned by Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung-Kiu, bought the iconic Cheesegrater building in central London for £1.15B.