One-third of commercial properties ‘foreign-owned’


Around 33 per cent of UK commercial buildings are foreign owned, a new study states.

A report from insurance firm Royal & Sun Alliance says that ratio is set to lessen over the coming year, however – as real estate price rises drop off and enthusiasm and interest in the sector cools.

Demand from foreigners in the commercial property sector is primarily driven by those looking to invest in office buildings with sitting tenants on medium-term leases.

With 22 per cent of commercial properties owned by foreign investors, a further ten per cent are owned indirectly by funds – while a further one per cent are held by foreign companies with a presence in the UK, states the study.

In the last seven years, investment in commercial property has increased by a third – and the total value of the sector has gone up by £741 billion over the same period.

Commercial property in London and the south-east has been the most popular among foreign investors – with regional centres such as Manchester and Birmingham trailing behind in second place. Northern Ireland and the north-west of England are the areas which have seen least overseas investment.