East of England sees highest investment volumes in a decade hitting £1.8bn

12 February 2018

According to Savills, commercial investment volumes in the East of England reached £1.8 billion during 2017, the strongest year on record since 2005 and 50% above the 10 year average. One of the key drivers was the industrial market, which accounted for 28% of the total, amounting to a record £499 million.

Savills notes that there has been significant interest in the industrial sector, which has seen investment volumes exceed office totals in the region for the second consecutive year. However, despite record levels, the largest individual contributor was the retail sector, totalling £696 million of investment. This was largely due to the Greater Manchester Pension Fund’s (GMPF) purchase of Intu Chapelfield, Norwich for £148 million, which was the largest deal in the region last year.

Other key deals across the East of England in 2017 include Pigeon Investment Management’s sale of the Anglian Water Services headquarters in Thorpewood, Peterborough for £13.95 million to an overseas investor, Legal and General’s purchase of Bar Hill Industrial Estate for £11.6m, Schroders purchase of The Quorum, Cambridge for £22.7 million and Tesco Pension Fund’s purchase of the Abcam HQ on Cambridge Biomedical Campus for over £60 million. Elsewhere in the region, other smaller transactions included Aviva selling Grafton Place Industrial Estate, Chelmsford to TH Real Estate for £5.95 million and Benefit Cosmetic’s Headquarters in Chelmsford selling to a private investor for £4.1million.

Last year marked the return of the UK institutions into the East of England, with investment reaching £808 million, which Savills calculates as 45% of the market. Overseas investors also remained active, accounting for £321 million, 18% of the market total, as they continue to familiarise themselves with regional markets outside of central London.

James Emans, director in the investment team at Savills, comments: “The eastern region has seen a significant uptick in investment volumes across all sectors as investors continue to chase income yield and growth opportunities. What’s more, assets are attracting multiple bids from a range of investor types. As a result we are aware of approximately £1.5bn of unallocated capital looking to invest into the Eastern Region and for this reason, we anticipate further benchmark transactions in 2018.”

Savills office and industrial investment teams have advised on 24 investment transactions in the East of England in 2017 equating to £303 million in asset value.


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