West End offices 'popular with overseas investors'
West End offices are viewed as a safe haven for overseas private investors.

Some of the biggest deals made in the West End during the final quarter of 2011 include Crosstree's acquisition of 1-3 Berkeley Street for £155 million and Al Faisal Holdings' £200 million purchase of the W Hotel at 10 Wardour Street, Cushman & Wakefield reported.

More than a third of West End acquisitions during this period were made by foreign private investors, the study found.

Meanwhile, climbing rents and a lack of quality premises bolstered competition for prime retail space.

By the end of last year, prime retail rents in the West End were an average £965 per sq ft. This represents a two per cent lift on the same time in 2010.

Rents for West End offices surged by 7.9 per cent year-on-year to reach £102.50 per sq ft, it added.

Across the central London commercial property market as a whole, a ten per cent increase in investment volumes was noted between 2010 and last year, with this figure standing at £10.9 billion.

One of the more recent West End deals saw Great Portland Estates pre-let 64,142 sq ft of space to Savills in Marcol House at 33 Margaret Street.

Posted by David Hudek

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