Editor: Uma Rajah makes a compelling case for why ‘the capital always bounces back’ when it comes to prime central London (PCL) residential property. And the prime commercial market also now presents huge opportunities following the price corrections of the past 12 months.
After 10 years of sellers holding the cards, London is now a buyers’ market for those who can strike quickly on commercial acquisitions. Average values are down circa 17% since summer 2022, according to BNP Paribas, with the latest research suggesting that West End super-prime office rents could double by the end of 2024, creating a perfect opportunity for those who can buy now.
So who is interested? Away from larger institutional capital, it is networks of international ultra-high-net-worth individuals and family offices – including those from Switzerland, my homeland – who are poised to strike, owing to quick decision-making abilities and liquidity.
Indeed, our own business is on the acquisition trail as we seek to build our portfolio and generate stable returns, looking for both turnkey opportunities but also those where refurbishment and repositioning work can help to unlock value.
Yes, the pandemic and new working trends did cause demand to wane, but the return to work is well under way. If nothing else, remember that each year, there are millions of new graduates coming into the London workforce who want to enjoy the bright lights of this wonderful city – lights that can’t be seen from working in their bedrooms.
Byron Baciocchi, chairman and chief executive, Unica Capital