LONDON-A record euro 7.4 billion ($9.3 billion) of commercial property has been put up for sale in the city of London as owners seek to capitalize on strong investor demand and soaring values, according to a new report by CB Richard Ellis. Tony McCurley, CBRE’s executive director for Central London investment, says that at least euro 4.8 billion ($6.1 billion) of property was formally up for sale and a further euro 2.6 billion ($3.3 billion) of property was available unofficially on the so-called gray market.

DB Real Estate is the latest investor to put a trophy building up for sale after inviting agents to pitch to market Tower Place. The office complex was designed by Lord Foster and is located next to the Tower of London. DB is understood to be looking to sell it for about euro 444.8 million ($560 million) having paid euro 318.6 million ($401.7 million) for it in 2003.

Earlier this week it emerged that JPMorgan and the O’Connor Group, a New York City-based private equity house, are planning to sell the Cutlers Gardens Estate for about euro 592.8 million ($747.3 million). Last month Swiss Re put up for sale its London headquarters, at 30 St Mary Axe, best known as the Gherkin. But the biggest lot available is a euro 2.7-billion ($3.4-billion) portfolio, including the Aviva Tower, owned by Simon Halabi, the Syrian-born tycoon.

“There is a lot of profit-taking going on in view of the dramatic downward shift in rental yields over the last 12 to 18 months,” McCurley says, “but there is still a huge appetite from international buyers.” So far this year, euro 9.6 billion ($12.1 billion) of property has been sold, of which euro 4.9 billion ($6.2 billion) went to overseas purchasers, according to CBRE. Prime rental yields are now 4.35% compared to 4.85% earlier this year.

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