London's great office sale 11th April 2012

Around 55% of the £5.6bn that was brought to market across central London during the final quarter of last year and Q1 2012 has already sold or is under offer, says DTZ. In exclusive research undertaken for CoStar News, DTZ claims that £1.3bn of central London assets have sold of the circa £2.6bn that was brought to market during the final three months of 2011. Of the total figure, the agent contends that £592m has gone under offer, £163m has been withdrawn, and £469m remains available to buy.

DTZ says that a further £3bn has been put up for sale across central London in the first quarter of 2012. Of this, £532m has sold and an additional £618m is under offer. The remaining £1.88m is available to buy. The £1.3bn that has sold from assets brought to market in Q4 comprise Fleet Place House, EC4, 28-29 Savile Row, W1, 110 St Martin’s Lane, WC2, Minories Estate, EC3, 1 Finsbury Square, EC2, 1 Berkeley Street, W1, 3 Savile Row, W1, Queensbury House, W1, Camomile Court, EC3, 88 St James’s Street, SW1, 1 Cabot Square in Docklands, E14, 55 Queen Victoria Street, EC4, 60 St Martin’s Lane, WC2, Drury House, WC2, and 110 Middlesex Street, E1.

Already in Q1, central London sales have included 55 Newman Street, W1, Parkhouse, EC2, CAA House, WC2, Eland House, SW1, and Herbal House, EC1. The £618m of buildings put under offer in Q1 include Devonshire Square, EC2, 60 New Broad Street, EC2, 51 Eastcheap, EC3, 3 St James’s Square, SW1, 55 Old Broad Street, EC2, Princes House, WC2, 26 Lisson Grove, NW1, 32 Queen Anne’s Gate and 29 Queen Anne’s Gate, SW1.

Buildings which have come to market in Q1 this year include 25 Hanover Square, W1, Dorset House in Stamford Street, SE1, Christchurch Court, EC4, 62-74 Kensington High Street, W8, Bevis Marks House, EC3, Plantation Place South, EC3, 27-29 Long Acre, WC2, 50 Grosvenor Street, W1, and 68 King William Street, EC4. The figures do not include Woolgate Exchange, which was until last week under offer to PNB, and Plantation Place, which DTZ considers an off market deal.

Also outside of the figures sits Tower 42, EC2. South African investor Natie Kirsh exchanged contracts on the £282.5m purchase of the Tower 42 Estate from Hermes Investment Management, BlackRock and LaSalle Investment Management late last year but funded the acquisition on March 21, financed with a 20-year £145m senior loan from Aviva Commercial Finance. In another high profile deal, Boston Properties, the US real estate investment trust, has been under offer to buy Evans Randall’s Drapers Gardens, EC2, for around £285m, since late February.

In addition, Savills says that more than half of the £5bn of City stock which came to market in the second half of last year has either sold or is under offer, while 25% has been withdrawn and 25% remains available. Savills director, Robert Buchele, said: “Of the c.£5bn of City investment stock which came to the market post summer last year, over half has either been sold or is about to be sold which underlines the continued appetite for prime assets, particularly from overseas investors. “Whilst some of this stock has been replenished by new deals such as The Devonshire Square Estate, & Plantation Place (the former now under offer), the balance remains in favour of the seller for the short term at least.”