American Pie

American Pie


North America is the only overseas region to have increased its investment in London year on year, new data from Datscha reveals.

Investment from North America increased by 31% in the first half of 2019 year on year, to reach £1.6bn. Concurrently, investment from the APAC and EMEA regions fell 60% and 63% respectively. Across London as a whole, investment from North America increased by 41.6%.

Total North American investment jumped from £1.5bn to £2.1bn from H1 2018 to H1 2019, while investment from the APAC region fell from £4.7bn to £3.3bn. EMEA investment decreased from £2.5bn to £830m.

An early look at Q3 data suggests the North American region will have taken a large share of the pie, accounting for a 16% share of total third-quarter investment in central London, compared with 14% from APAC and 4% from EMEA countries.

Lesley Males, head of research at Datscha UK states “US investment was driven by the Citigroup deal in Canary Wharf – a transaction of over £1bn in what is supposedly testing times,”.

The fall in investment from other regions could be due to investors waiting to see if the pound drops, “so they can purchase those trophy assets at a cheaper price than what they can today”, suggests Males, who pins the 28.4% fall in investment volumes across London in the first half squarely on Brexit.

Males observes hefty business deals have almost halved since 2018 “Even from Asia, there is nervousness about investing in London because Brexit is not sorted and a complete mess,” she comments. “There were 49 deals over £100m this time last year compared with only 26 this year.”

She adds that she expects investment activity to remain slow for the rest of 2019, as foreign investors continue to approach the market with trepidation until after the 31 October Brexit deadline.

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