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UK Commercial Property Investment 2020 – The First Half

06 11 20 A Game of Two Halves hero

UK commercial property transaction volumes for H1 2020 might be considered disappointing after a strong start in Q1. In fact, the near £20 billion that was transacted might reasonably be considered ‘respectable’ given the almost complete government mandated shutdown of the UK economy in Q2. UK commercial property investment usually includes a second half surge, especially in the last quarter, as unfulfilled annual investment mandates are fulfilled at the last minute. An analyst might be forgiven for optimism.

Even in this COVID-19 impaired year, hopes for a strong year end are not misplaced. Many deals in the first half were postponed, not cancelled. This is already evident in September’s investment recovery (£4.5 billion) and the momentum that was evident in October which is likely to see close to another £4 billion transacted when the final figures are reported. Furthermore, the weight of global capital continues to drive new demand spurred on by undervalued sterling and yields that are internationally competitive.

The latest new lockdown announced on 31 October may have dampened spirits, but access to assets has not been restricted, and UK property market metrics remain appealing. This is especially true for long-term cross border investors who are otherwise undeterred by economic and political uncertainty.Chart  UK Commerical Property Investment 2020  The First Half  Chart 1‘UK commercial property investment usually includes a second half surge, especially in the last quarter as unfulfilled annual investment mandates are fulfilled at the last minute.’

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About the Author

Chief Economist, and Head of Research of Forecasting at Colliers International, Walter Boettcher has over 20 years UK and European property industry experience. Highly renowned for his publications on Brexit, Economic Outlook & Trends, and Property Cycles, Walter has redefined how research can be used to support agency and professional services business development.

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Walter Boettcher

Head of Research and Economics

Research and Forecasting

London - West End

As Head of Research and Economics at global property advisors Colliers based in London, I lead a team of researchers identifying timely research topics and directing research and forecasting outputs. I have 25+ years of UK and European property industry experience and extensive expertise across a wide range of sectors and related industries. I participate regularly in industry panel discussions, but am focused more on direct client engagement with institutions, property companies, banks, and private investors. A regular media commentator, I have a wide range of national publication and broadcast experience. I joined Colliers International in August 2007 after several years at a private property company where I was responsible for managing a mixed portfolio of London residential, retail and office assets. Previously, I worked in a few London property advisory firms, a geodemographic company as well as a few youthful sojourns in the US offshore oil industry, local government and entertainment business. I am an economics graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received a  PhD from the Faculty of Science at University College London.  I am a member of the London Property Economics Forum and  Society of Property Researchers.

Perhaps best known for my alternative take on property economics and investment, I am a keen proponent of UK regional development and infrastructure investment.

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