…but the appetite is still there
With the (perhaps not so solid?) deadline of March 29 approaching and the UK’s exit from the European Union there remains much speculation as to the likely impact on the UK commercial property market.
Here at Workman, an exceptionally busy 2018 has seen a marked increase in management opportunities with international investors, either through the acquisition of existing assets under management or through invitations to tender for new instructions.
My experience of meeting clients and investors on recent trips to Asia has shown that their appetite for investing in UK real estate shows no signs of diminishing.
Although some are clearly biding their time to find the right opportunity in 2019, the enthusiasm and interest shown when discussing the UK market is clear to see. This positive sentiment was further emphasised amongst delegates at the MIPIM Asia conference.
However, what was also apparent was that while the competiveness of their domestic markets and the continued weakness of sterling continues to offer relative value in the UK, they continue to have very specific requirements of both the asset and the services they require from their UK advisors.
While London offices clearly remain the overwhelming target sector, overseas investors are equally precise about what they require from their property managers. Creating a richer experience for occupiers and their staff through a customer-centric approach and delivering place making initiatives is a given. Meanwhile, the specific ownership structures often adopted require a flexible approach to financial reporting to meet both the needs of investor and lender.
Experience in developing the reporting structures is critical to overseas investors who do not necessarily have the time or ability to meet on a regular basis – trust is also a factor here.
We are finding our Asian Investor clients are steadily increasing their exposure to the UK market, principally London, but the braver are venturing to other UK gateway cities. As sector specialists, Workman’s focused approach to property management and building consultancy is well suited to these investors as they increasingly gain a foothold in the UK market.