East Oxford Street shopping spree sees Hong Kong ownership rise 66.7% in two years

01 March 2017

Hong Kong investors are currently the largest single group of overseas owners on London’s Oxford Street, according to international real estate advisor Savills, accounting for 21.1% of non-UK owned stores.  While historically they largely focussed on West Oxford Street, the firm reports that confidence based on occupational demand linked to Crossrail has seen Hong Kong ownership on East Oxford Street rise by 66.7% since December 2014.     

As a result, Hong Kong store ownership is now proportionally higher to the East of Oxford Circus than the West (22.7% vs 20% of non-UK owned stores respectively).  Savills says this mirrors the changes in international investment seen across the street as a whole.  While 53.4% of stores on West Oxford Street are non-UK owned, the greatest uplift has been on East Oxford Street where international ownership has risen 22.2% to 41.9% since December 2014.  After Hong Kong, the next largest share of non-UK owned stores on the street is held by investors from Ireland (15.8%), followed by Spain (14.9%), Abu Dhabi (8.8%) and Qatar (7.9%).  

‘Traditional’ overseas investors have still been particularly active on Oxford Street in recent years, according to Savills, largely looking for value-add opportunities.  However, there has also been a considerable rise in ownership by private international investors whose wealth derives from retail, such as Ponte Gadea, Holch Povlsens and Ramsbury Estates.  The latter has more been from a real estate play than an owner occupation stance, says Savills, as private international ownership of non-occupied stores has increased 16.7% since December 2014.   Marie Hickey, retail research director at Savills, comments:  “Increased international ownership on Oxford Street has largely derived from UK institutional funds selling assets.  Their ownership of units has fallen 37.8% overall since December 2014, with a more dramatic decline of 46.2% on the eastern side.  Ultimately, increased international ownership has been and will continue to be a good thing for the street, bringing with it investment and value add initiatives which in turn attract new retailers.” 

Sam Foyle, Oxford Street specialist at Savills, adds: “The internationalisation of Oxford Street’s retail offer has gone hand in hand with that of its ownership.  What is really interesting is the increasing appeal of the eastern end of Oxford Street to international buyers.  Obviously the Crossrail story is compelling, but factor in the possible pedestrianisation and the volume of new office development envisaged for that end of the street, and it is apparent that the footfall and spend dynamics is set to receive a real boost.  This is attracting the retailers and in turn the investors.”

 
 

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Key Contacts

Sam Foyle

Sam Foyle

Director
Retail

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 207 409 8171

 

Marie Hickey

Marie Hickey

Director
Commercial Research

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 20 3320 8288