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Foreign landlords dominate London streets

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18th Oct 11 8:55 am

Research has shown that more than 60 per cent of properties on London’s Bond Street and Regent Street are owned by foreign landlords.

Property consultancy Savills said that investors have bought stores over the past half-decade in a bid to find a safe haven for their cash.

Savills said that since 2006 total property sales have increased to more than £800m on Bond Street amid growing demand. The figures also showed that total property sales reached £2bn on Oxford Street during the same period.

Some 61 per cent of Oxford Street is now owned by investors from Denmark, Qatar, Hong Kong and other countries, the report showed.

The figures stand in stark contrast to research from 2006, which showed that UK funds and British and Irish private investors held 96 per cent of the famous street.

Half a decade ago, just 14 per cent of Bond Street was owned by foreign investors. However, the latest figures indicated that this has soared to 69 per cent.

Investors from France own 13.6 per cent of the street, putting the country not far behind the UK – the majority country owning 22 per cent.

An overall share of nearly a fifth (19.1 per cent) is owned by investors from China, the Middle East, Singapore and Thailand.

This year Cushman and Wakefield revealed that Bond Street is the second most expensive street in Europe for retail rents, while Oxford Street is the sixth most pricey. The survey also revealed that they were Britain’s most expensive streets for such rents.

Senior surveyor Jonathan O’Regan, from Savills’ central London investment team, told Reuters: “We’re seeing rental growth of up to 90 per cent in some sections of the streets, and that’s set to continue.

“There’s also huge uncertainty elsewhere in all these people’s portfolios … Property on Bond Street is probably seen as the safest haven for a good diverse portfolio.”

A spokesperson for London & Partners, the city’s official promotional agency, said: “London is one of the most inspirational and diverse capitals on the globe and these are exciting times for the city.

“The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Charles Dickens’ 200th anniversary, the World Shakespeare Festival are just a few of the experiences taking place next year and of course we will host the greatest events of them all, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – all of these events and the huge media attention are an exciting and enticing motivation for investors and in particular retail and property investors.”

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