INDUSTRY NEWS

Commercial property ‘looking attractive’

British commercial property is looking increasingly attractive to foreign firms, a leading Australian firm has said.

GPT Group is the country’s third biggest property group and told Reuters it is looking to invest €3 billion (£2.2 billion) in European property by mid-2009.

According to a recent statement, the group is watching "emerging opportunities" and had stayed away from the UK market because of its recent downturn.

Falls in London’s commercial property prices are less drastic than previously thought, however. The Investment Property Databank (IPD) calculated they dropped by 8.6 per cent last year, following 11 consecutive years of growth.

Monthly figures from the IPD showed the rate of value falls halved in January compared to earlier months.

Property Week reported Malcolm Frodsham, research director, as saying: "The index is back to where it stood in June 2006 and commercial real estate has still returned a healthy nine per cent pa total return over the past three years."

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