Despite the economic downturn and the slowing London property market, the capital city is still the number one target for property investors in the UK. Property Week recently released its data on where the money is being spent in the UK, and it is no surprise that London is tops. For the first half of 2009, investment in London real estate was £3.0 billion, down from £6.1 billion a year ago and £3.9 billion in the second half of 2008.
Yorkshire and Humberside has been a popular investment destination, with some £872 million being spent in the first half of the year, more than all of last year, when £811 million was invested. The region was boosted by the sale of a 50 percent stake in British Land’s Meadowhall retail scheme. The South East is next on the list, with 10 percent of all UK property investment coming in this region for a total of £814 million.
The South West saw £408 million invested, which is an increase for this part of the country. That is more than either half in 2008, and it looks to continue that trend through the rest of 2009. West Midlands was down from a year ago with £397 invested. That was boosted by the Birmingham City Council’s purchase of the Pallasades shopping center. The East of England improved from the first half of 2008, with £282 million in sales, but it fell off dramatically over the second quarter of 2009.
Scotland has seen a precipitous drop in real estate investment over the past year. The first half of 2009 had £198 million in sales, compared to £990 million a year ago and £412 million in the second half of 2008. East Midlands is struggling, and the North East has picked up the pace a bit with Newcastle Council’s purchase of the Northern Rock office. The lowest investment comes from Northern Ireland, Wales and the Channel Islands, with just £76 million spent in the first part of 2009.