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Foreign Investors Hold Most of City of London’s Real Estate

By Tavis J. Hampton | November 26, 2011

For the first time, non-British investors control the most real estate in London’s financial district. The City of London, or simply “the City” is the historic core of the greater London, England, and it also happens to be London’s financial center. According to a new report, 52% of the property in the financial district is now in the hands of non-U.K. investors.

City of London at night

City of London at night

To paint an clear picture of just how much things have changed in the City, it is important to note that foreign investors only held 8% of real estate in that area in 1980. By the mid-1990s, it was 28%. Undeterred by the U.K.’s economic problems, foreign investors continue to buy up property in the City, according to the report commissioned by Development Securities PLC, a property investor and developer.

Topping the list of countries with real estate interests in the U.K. is Germany, which now accounts for 16% of the foreign investors. 10% of investors come from the U.S., while 20% come from a variety of countries around the world, excluding the Middle East, which accounts for 6% as a combined region.

Many of the German investors resell their property to investors from other countries like North Korea, Malaysia, and Norway, reducing the likelihood of the equity ending up back in the pockets of local investors. London’s property is more alluring than any other city, even more than New York, Paris, and Frankfurt, and experts expect the foreign investors to keep coming in the future.

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