NEW YORK CITY-All eyes may have been on New York City (or at least Times Square) as the last minutes of 2012 wound down, but for most of Q3, their focus was on London, at least if they were investors in commercial real estate. According to research released by Jones Lang LaSalle, London topped the list of the most liquid markets that are garnering investment volume.
“The larger more liquid countries are increasingly seeing more transactional activity,” the firm reports, “and this is the case at the city level as well. While the order may change quarter on quarter, over half of all transactional activity globally is done in primarily 30 main cities.”
In fact, London drew $7.2 billion in investment volume for the quarter, outpacing the #2 city’s—New York—$4.83 billion and Seoul’s $3.28 billion, which put that Korean capital in the number-three spot. Rounding out the Top Five were Paris and Tokyo with $2.98 billion and $2.83 billion respectively.
But geographic diversity is beginning to seep into the mix, and while “the UK continues to attract the majority of buyers,” says JLL, “we are starting to see interest move to other parts of the continent as buyers look to build out their portfolio of assets in the region.”
Not surprisingly, REITs have been among the most active players, although pension funds and sovereign wealth funds are growing their investment footprints.