More than half of commercial City offices 'owned by foreign investors'
In 1980, eight per cent of City offices were owned by investors from overseas - but this has since shot up to more than 50 per cent.

Such is the finding of a new study published by Development Securities - and researched by the University of Cambridge - which noted that their share of Square Mile office ownership has risen since the economic downturn, reflecting the safe haven status of these assets.

Between 2008 and 2011, the typical purchase price stood at £91 million - although for UK investors the average was £27 million.

The popularity of London offices is further reflected in the report, which noted that the capital attracts higher inward investment levels than any other city across the globe.

Another trend that has been spotted is that traditional corporate space owners, such as property companies and livery firms, have reduced their ownership of commercial Square Mile space, while high-net-worth investors have strengthened their hold.

"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 who have, in turn, deepened liquidity in the market," explained chief executive of Development Securities Michael Marx.

Recently highlighting one example of commercial property investment by foreign buyers, CoStar UK pointed to Tower 42 close to the Bank of England, which is currently under offer from the South African investment vehicle led by Nathan Kirsh, an entrepreneur.

Posted by Sarah Dudley

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