Knight Frank: 70% of London offices sold in 2012 went to foreign buyers

London, UK (PRWEB UK) 5 February 2013

Today Knight Frank unveiled its latest analysis and forecasts for the central London office market at the Dorchester Hotel. Key points were:

Investment Market

The central London office market saw its strongest year for investment since 2007, thanks to a record level of purchases by foreign investors.

Total investment turnover for central London was ?13.8 bn in 2012, up from ?9.6 bn in 2011, and higher than the ten year average figure of ?10.8 bn.

In 2012, overseas buyers invested ?9.6 bn, the highest figure on record, and nearly 70% of total activity. In 2000, overseas buyers accounted for 24% of deals.

This is the fifth consecutive year that foreign investors have accounted for the majority of investment purchases by volume.

Leasing Market

Take-up of office space in the leasing market was 9.6 m sq ft in 2012, which was down on 2011 (10.7 m sq ft).

The vacancy rate (available office space as % of total stock) was 7.2% at the end of 2012, compared to 7.3% at the end of 2011. This is the first time on record that the UK economy has experienced a recession without the central London vacancy rate increasing.

The West End vacancy rate is now 5.6%, significantly lower than the long-term average of 7.6%.

The City office market was a bright spot, with take-up increasing to 5.8 m sq ft in 2012, up from 5.5 m sq ft in 2011. The City vacancy rate was 8.4%, down from 8.9% a year earlier.

The City benefitted from a growing cluster of technology, media and telecoms firms, who acquired 1.2 m sq ft of office space in the 2012. This marks a 25% increase on 2011.

Residential market

Transaction levels for 2012 hit ?18 billion with 11,900 deals contracted at an average price of ?1.5 million

Prime Central London growth for 2012 hit an average of 8.7%. The prime markets of Belgravia and Knightsbridge were the star performers at 15%

An analysis of all transactions show UK buyers accounted for 58% of purchases. In the new homes environment this figure decreases to 27%

James Roberts, head of commercial research, said: A lot of people are surprised that the City has seen take-up rise in 2012, because it is associated with the banks, who are known to be cutting staff. However, Clerkenwell, Farringdon and Shoreditch are now firmly established as technology and media districts, and we expect to see this momentum build with the forthcoming 4G roll out. Technology, Media and Telecoms firms were the largest source of demand of office space in City in 2012, accounting for 22% of activity. Also, the insurers who operate in the Lloyds insurance market have been taking more office space, with activity from this industry more than doubling to 878,000 sq ft in 2012.

Stephen Clifton, investment partner, said: Foreign buyers dominating the London office investment market has become an established state of affairs. The pound has weakened further in recent weeks, which only increases the logic for overseas investors to buy in London. Also, pricing looks attractive compared to their home markets in many cases. Prime yields on City offices are 5.00%, on West End offices they 4.00%, whereas in Hong Kong they are around 3.00%. In 2012, much of the focus was on the safer assets, but in 2013 I expect to see investors taking on more risk, including looking at development sites in order to ride the global economic recovery.

Philip Hobley, leasing partner, said: A difficult year for the global economy pushed down demand for leasing office space, but what is remarkable is that the vacancy rate did not rise, which has happened in all past recessions, and how strong deal terms have been. This is because the lack of speculative development over the past five years has kept market supply under pressure. When the global economy gains traction again, I expect improved demand to rapidly push supply down, resulting in wider rental growth by year end.

Ian Marris, head of development consultancy, said: The prime markets enjoyed a strong year despite some adverse economic conditions and political interventions. The fundamentals are positive with London being driven by a strong demand from macro investors.

This said we believe the growth in 2013 will be held back, as investors seek to negotiate hard on pricing. A year of price consolidation will be a good outturn and sets the market in good shape for steady medium term growth of 25% over the next five year period.

John Snow, head of central London offices, concluded: London proved in 2012 it deserves its reputation as a resilient property market. In the leasing market, supply is comparatively low, with the vacancy rate at 7.2%, which is below the long run average figure. The investment market remains popular with overseas investors, who are now spending more than double the amount on London offices that they did ten years ago.

For further information, please contact:

Alice Mitchell, commercial pr manager, Knight Frank +44(0)20 7861 5168 alice.mitchell (at) knightfrank (dot) com


Notes to Editors

Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property consultancy. Headquartered in London, Knight Frank and its New York-based global partner, Newmark Knight Frank, operate from 207 offices, in 43 countries, across six continents. More than 6,340 professionals handle in excess of US$ 886 billion (?594 billion) worth of commercial, agricultural and residential real estate annually, advising clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants. For further information about the Company, please visit

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Chinese Drywall Complaint Center Says Obama’s Worst Foreign Policy Failure Isn’t Libya it’s Families in Florida & Virginia Stuck in Toxic Chinese Drywall Hell – Help Wanted

(PRWEB) October 22, 2012

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center has been referring to imported toxic Chinese drywall as the Toxic Chinese Drywall Disaster for over two years. Based on their inspections of subdivisions, condominium projects, and or town home developments they estimate there are about 200,000 homes that contain toxic Chinese drywall in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Southeast Texas. There are also well over a thousand homes in Virginia that contain toxic Chinese drywall. The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center is calling the Toxic Chinese Drywall Disaster the worst disaster for US homeowners ever, because of the extremely corrosive gasses being emitted by this building product. The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “Talk to any air conditioning repairman in Florida, and ask him about how corrosive toxic Chinese drywall is-when it comes to copper air conditioning coils. Our number one worry is, and always has been if toxic Chinese drywall is corrosive enough to eat through a copper air conditioning coil in about a year-what is it doing to the health of the people who live in these homes? Why has President Obama failed to mention toxic Chinese drywall one time in public since taking office? Why has President Obama failed to publicly demand the Chinese government pay up for the damages caused by their toxic building product? After four years we do not even have a meaningful remediation protocol from the EPA on how to fix one of these homes? How does President Obama have a campaign slogan like Forward-when he has so miserably left so many people behind?” http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says the following items need to happen with respect to the toxic Chinese Drywall Disaster immediately:

“The Toxic Chinese Drywall Disaster always required leadership. To date there has been none. President Obama needs to immediately task the US EPA with coming up with an ironclad remediation protocol to repair a toxic Chinese drywall home. If these homes cannot be 100% repaired – with safety being the number one concern for current, or future homeowners – these homes should be bulldozed.”
“Banks, and Fannie Mae need to stop selling toxic Chinese drywall homes-AS IS. There needs to be an immediate moratorium on the resale of any toxic Chinese drywall home foreclosure until the US EPA establishes if these homes can be repaired.”
“At the present time the government of China will not take responsibility for their Taishan toxic Chinese drywall product in federal courts. This specific type of toxic Chinese drywall is in over 100,000 US homes in Florida, Virginia, and the extreme US Southeast. Many to most of these homes are now foreclosures. We believe the government of China should be forced to set up a trust account with a court appointed administrator to handle claims from homeowners who have lost it all in one of these toxic homes. This claims process should also include Fannie Mae, and banks that are now stuck with toxic Chinese drywall home foreclosures. Why should the US taxpayer, and or bank shareholders have to pick up the tab for a toxic building product made by a state owned Chinese drywall factory? ”
“President Obama of late is frequently saying leave no one behind. One of the settlements involving a privately owned toxic Chinese drywall maker only includes about one in twenty victims. We believe the Justice Department should get involved, in concert with the US EPA in order to make sure no victim of toxic Chinese drywall gets left on the curb holding the bag for what always was a foreign policy disaster that required leadership, a sense of urgency, and transparency.”

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center will continue to do everything possible to call attention to the Toxic Chinese Drywall Disaster for US homeowners, their families, and the US taxpayers. The group believes something needs to change with respect to the Obama Administration’s handling of this disaster. http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

(United States District Court-Eastern District of Louisiana MDL Case #2047)

Australians Urged to Invest In Their Own Countrys Property as Foreign Investment Funds Flow In

(PRWEB) July 18, 2012

Foreign investment in the Australian property market is continuing, despite the financial woes of the rest of the world. This, believes property investment strategist, Rick Otton, is a good indicator that Australians too should become involved, and get solid real estate investing training.

The Australian economy has remained stable throughout the financial turmoil that has been faced by most other nations explained Mr Otton. Foreign investors are chasing yields several percentage points higher than what they can get in, say, London, New York, Singapore or Hong Kong.

Most of the property investment funds are coming from Asia, particularly from pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and REITS.

If overseas investors can see value in investing in Australian property, then it should instill confidence in Aussies as well continued Mr Otton. In the last six months alone, foreign investors have committed around $ 3.7 billion in Australian property markets.

Mr Otton, author of How To Buy A House For A Dollar, has been teaching his creative real estate investment strategies for Aussies for over 10 years, showing how the people (especially those whom the banks turn away) can become property investors.

It frustrates me to hear how good, honest people are being denied home ownership because they cannot meet the tough criteria of the traditional lenders – the banks said Mr Otton. And that they are being disenfranchised while properties are being purchased by offshore entities is increasingly difficult to accept.

It was the inability to meet the requirements of the lenders that was the impetus for Mr Otton to develop his innovative property investment strategies back in 1991, to teach them to through property investment for beginners courses, and, in 2012 to become the author of his property book for Aussies, How To Buy A House For A Dollar

He announced To help people understand these concepts, I have just announced a series of free one day real estate investment training seminars, which will be held in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland throughout August.

Details of the free one day real estate investing seminar events visit

About Rick Otton

Rick Otton is an original pioneer of creative property strategies. He is founder and CEO of We Buy Houses, a leading property enterprise which operates in the property markets of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, USA and Australia.

In 1991 he uncovered an innovative strategy of buying and selling real estate and went on to amass a portfolio of 76 properties in his first twelve months of active investing.

Since 2001, Rick has taught over 30,000 students to buy, sell and trade residential property without banks, debt or risk. By employing these same strategies many of Ricks students have made over a million dollars a year in cash and equity, using little or none of their own money, year after year.

In 2008 Rick revealed his strategies in the United Kingdom and became the creator of Houses for a Pound.

He has appeared in many Australian TV programs including the 2004 ABC documentary Reality Bites and on Today Tonight, Insight and A Current Affair. In October 2007 Rick gave a way a house on national TV during 2 episodes of Channel 9s Hot Property.

Rick Otton has also been featured in Your Property Network, Australian Property Investor, Lifestyle Trader Magazines and in the books: The Secrets of Property Millionaires Exposed!, Ideas: Original Perspectives On Life and Business From Leading Thinkers, Think and Grow Rich in Property, Insider Property Secrets, and Walking With The Wise.

In May 2012 Mr Ottons book How To Buy A House For A Dollar was published.

Learn more about Rick Otton at More information, including testimonials from real students, is available at, and about his free real estate seminars at

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New Proposed Bill Would Offer Temporary Visas for Foreign Residential Real Estate Investors

Article by Darren Silver

New Proposed Bill Would Offer Temporary Visas for Foreign Residential Real Estate Investors – Law – National, State, Local

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A new legislative bill introduced by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) proposes to offer a temporary residency visa to immigrants who spend at least $ 500,000 on a home in the United States. This bill, which received bipartisan support, will soon be considered by the U.S. Congress as a new way to stimulate a struggling U.S. housing market.

While not the same as the noted EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program, which offers a path to citizenship for foreign nationals who invest at least $ 500,000 in a U.S. business enterprise that leads to at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers, the newly proposed housing bill will provide a new and novel method for foreign nationals to enter and remain in the U.S. through investment.

The U.S. housing market is currently struggling; this new, proposed bill may give a boom to this market. In areas of the U.S. especially hurt by the recession, such as South Florida, Southern California and Arizona, many foreign nationals are currently purchasing homes. Immigrants from China, Canada and other nations are now taking advantage of favorable exchange rates and reasonable real estate costs in these and other areas of the U.S. In fact, just over 5 percent of all homes bought in Miami in July 2011 were purchased by foreign buyers. In Phoenix, that number is just a bit lower, at 4.3 percent. For the year ending in March 2011, foreign buyers were responsible for up to $ 82 billion in investments in U.S. real estate properties, an increase from the $ 66 billion reported the year before.

Current market analysts see many advantages to the U.S. economy from the Schumer-Lee bill, if approved by Congress and the President. Under the proposed bill, immigrants will need to invest at least $ 500,000 in U.S. residential real estate. This can be a house, condo or townhouse. Applicants are given the opportunity to invest part of the required $ 500,000 on a single home and the rest on other residential real estate property, such as a rental home.

These investors would then be given temporary, three-year visas to enter the U.S. Under this particular visa, however, foreign investors will not be able to work. They will have to obtain other visas to be able to work while in the U.S. (such as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa). Supporters of the bill believe it will help spearhead growth in the U.S. real estate market, which has been struggling since the housing market bubble burst earlier this decade.

The bill has received support from many high-profile individuals, including Warren Buffet who recently told Charlie Rose (of PBS) that, “If you wanted to change your immigration policy so that you let 500,000 families in, but they have to have a significant net worth and everything, you’d solve things very quickly.”

About the Author

Darren Silver – Darren Silver & Associates is one of the largest and most respected Immigration Firms in the Country. For over 15 years we have represented clients from around the world, including Professionals, large multinational corporations, small businesses, celebrities, athletes, and those individuals who require immigration assistance for their families.

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Darren Silver

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Darren Silver – Darren Silver & Associates is one of the largest and most respected Immigration Firms in the Country. For over 15 years we have represented clients from around the world, including Professionals, large multinational corporations, small businesses, celebrities, athletes, and those individuals who require immigration assistance for their families.

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

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Myanmar Ministry Official to Address New Investment Law & Opportunities for Foreign Investors at New Myanmar Investment Summit 2012

Yangon, Myanmar (PRWEB) May 22, 2012

Myanmar, the gold mine country is rapidly emerging as a new frontier for various industries such as mining, oil and gas, telecommunications, agriculture, tourism and many others on a commercial scale. The country stands poised to attain multi-industrial boom and dynamic growth. In an April interview with Reuters, ADB Director for Myanmar and Thailand, remarked that Myanmar is `a huge market waiting to happen and growth will come from everywhere, not one specific sector’. And just last week, US President Obama said “As an iron fist has unclenched in Burma, we have extended our hand, and are entering a new phase in our engagement on behalf of a more democratic and prosperous future for the Burmese people.”

Apart from the US, European Union, Australia, Canada, and Japan are among the many nations keen to re-engage Myanmar.

Spurred on by global interest, the New Myanmar Investment Summit 2012 a specially structured 1.5 day conference is scheduled to take place on 20-21 June in Yangon to review the investment outlook in Myanmar, and serve as a platform for foreign investors to attain valuable investor information on this newly reformed nation. Themed Business Strategies & Successful JVs (Foreign Investment Law Amendment) the summit will provide invaluable pointers on key clauses of the New Investment Law, advice on securing land concessions for investment, financing, foreign loans, as well as security issues on local partnership.

The main highlight of the summit is the Top Ministry Official keynote address entitled New Investment Law and opportunities for Foreign Investors anticipated to delve into the recent reforms in the countrys investment policies.

Other key authorities making up the impressive speaker panel include U Htin Aung, Director General, Energy Planning from the Ministry of Energy, plus top executives and officials from DFDL Mekong Group/Myanmar Thanlwin Legal Services, Myanmar Vigour, Aung Naing Thitsar Co.,Ltd, Bagan Capital Limited, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Colliers International Thailand and many others.

In addition to the top-rate speaking faculty, this June summit promises in-depth analysis on:

Legal Impact of the New Foreign Investment Law on the Key Sectors

Financing, Foreign Loans and Guarantees

Agriculture & Plantation Investment Outlook

Latest Developments in Myanmars Oil & Gas Investment

Financiers Outlook: Infrastructure Investment & Funding

Myanmar One Giant Leap for Real estate The Next Four Years.

More details of the New Myanmar Investment Summit 2012 are available on the official Event Page.

For enquiries and reservations contact Ms. Hafizah at 65 6346 9218