According to EG, Savills completed over £5.7 billion worth of transactions in 2017 in Central London, up from the £4.66 billion the firm transacted the year previously, placing it ahead of CBRE (£5.125 billion), Cushman & Wakefield (£4.18 billion), JLL (£3.282 billion), and Eastdil Secured (£3.158 billion) who were ranked in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place respectively.
Savills had a 38% market share of all transactional activity in the final quarter of 2017, advising on the largest deal to take place; Kingboard Investments acquisition of 15 Canada Square, E14 for £400 million. EG points out the firm was also involved in the next largest deals to complete in Q4 and the £271.4 million acquisition of 70 Gracechurch Street, EC3 for Hong Kong-based Tenacity Group.
As the leading advisor for acquisitions in central London, notably in 2017 Savills was also responsible for £2.23 billion of disposals with key deals including: the £485 million sale of Cannon Place for Hines; acting on behalf of the Employee’s Provident Fund for the £174.9 million disposal of 11-12 St James’s Square; selling Grosvenor Victoria Casino, W2 for £70 million on behalf of Aprirose; and advising Aberdeen Standard on a £20 million sale at 32-33 Long Acre, WC2.
Stephen Down, executive director and head of Central London investment, comments: “The level of investment that we have witnessed in 2017 has surpassed all expectation, with record-breaking deals, investors from more than 26 countries transacting and a return of UK buyers who end the year with a 12% market share. London is the most liquid real estate market in the world. Some of the active overseas parties are drawn to the weakness in sterling that has existed since the EU referendum while others are attracted to London by comparative risk to their own markets, and also by comparative returns as prime yields on London offices are higher than those in much of Europe and Asia-Pacific.
“All those investing in London recognize the relative stability of it‘s office market as take-up in the City and West End sits above the long-term average while a third of the city’s developments are already pre-let. In 2018 we expect to see continued interest in London, from those already in the market and those who will deploy capital for the first time.”