Overseas investors dominated property pre-referendum

Overseas investors piled into the UK property sector in the run-up to the EU referendum, according to data from Real Capital Analytics.

Only two of the top 15 net investors since the start of 2015 were domestic – Legal & General and Tritax Big Box.

QIA was the biggest investor over the period, pumping in nearly £4bn.

Many of the largest investors made major portfolio acquisitions in the student accommodation sector, including Brookfield, CPPIB, Greystar, Mapletree and LetterOne.

Overseas investors that have been most active face the prospect of potential fall in values but are unlikely to be regretting their purchases, said Simon Mallinson, executive managing director at Real Capital Analytics.

He said: “A lot of the investors are long-term. They are not here for a quick movement in yields.

“One of the reasons we have seen such an increase in
investment into real estate over the last six or seven years is because real estate is delivering income. Particularly after last week, when you’ve got volatility in the stock markets and bonds delivering next to nothing in terms of return, the income derived from real estate is still going to remain very attractive. It is doing something they are not getting in more volatile asset classes.”

Many of those most heavily invested during the period still hold many more billions of capital to invest and take advantage of any distress. However, they are unlikely to see Brexit as a positive.

Top 15 net investors into UK real estate 2015 onwards
Investor Net investment (£m)
Qatar Investment Authority 3,934
Legal & General Property 2,189
Brookfield AM 2,163
CPP Investment Board 1,637
Lone Star 1,598
Temasek Holdings 1,354
Greystar RE Partners 1,338
Mapletree Investments 986
Blackstone 930
AEW Capital 914
Tritax Big Box 763
LetterOne 676
Ponte Gadea 667
China Life Insurance 621
AustralianSuper 571

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