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Commercial Investment in London Hits a Six-Year High.

According to Cushman & Wakefield, commercial property transactions in Central London hit £19.9 billion in 2013, the highest level since 2007. The £13.5 billion in transactions was up 47% from the previous year. However, it is still less than the pre-crisis high of £20.54 billion set in 2007.

In 2013, foreign investors were gradually drawn to London's central business district, with the United Kingdom being seen as a safe haven for finance.

"We have to note that 2013 was marked by possible war in Korea, Thailand, Syria, continuing concerns about Europe's economy, America's debt issues, and declining growth among the Brics," said Bill Tyser, head of City investment at Cushman & Wakefield, in an interview with the Financial Times.

Commercial investments were dominated by foreign buyers, particularly in the fourth quarter. During the last three months of the year, foreign investors accounted for 80% of the market share in the City & Docklands sector, with £4.5 billion. Global investors accounted for 75% of trade volumes in the West End in 2013.

The City & Dockland, which includes Canary Wharf and Southwark, attracted the most investors.  in qatar

According to the survey, total investment in the City & Docklands hit £5.6 billion in the fourth quarter, bringing total investment for the year to £11.9 billion.

Big transactions dominated London's commercial acquisitions, including the UK's two biggest commercial property deals ever. More London was purchased for £1.7 billion by Kuwati overseas sovereign fund St Martins, and Broadgate was purchased for the same sum by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC.

During the fourth quarter of 2013, the top five deals accounted for roughly 77 percent of overall City & Docklands spending.

In the first quarter of 2014, the company expects a "stable yet opportunity limited" market, according to the firm.

Mr. Tyser said, "While some questions remain about the likelihood of further yield compression, this is limited in light of potential bond yield increases that could result in yield expansion on the horizon." "In light of the economic recovery, the market is now entering a period of a return to property fundamentals, primarily property rental development, with a controlled supply pipeline and increasing occupier sentiment, decision making, and demand."

The West End had a record year in 2013, with investments totaling £8 billion, the highest annual turnover on record. The West End market saw 39 deals in the fourth quarter, with an average deal size of £58.3 million.

According to a CBRE survey, rents in the West End have surpassed Hong Kong as the world's most expensive rental market, at $259.36 per square foot per year.

The high demand is expected to continue into the new year.

"The outlook for 2014 is really bright," said Mike Tremayne, Cushman & Wakefield's head of West End investment. "With the persistent mismatch between high levels of investor demand and inefficient supply, we don't see this dynamic market abating anytime soon."

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