US investment props up Merseyside commercial property market

Investment in Merseyside’s commercial property increased 13 per cent, to the end of November in 2018, compared to the same period for the previous year.

The rate of increase outpaced that of Greater Manchester where investment volumes grew only 4% year on year.

This places Liverpool within the top 6 regional investment capitals outside of London

Investors, both domestic and from overseas, acquired commercial properties to the value of £835m in 2018 versus £739m in 2017 according to latest research – a near 15 percent increase.

Proptech platform Datscha revealed the data in their transactions module which indicates deals worth more than £3million each – those deemed of economic significance to the market. Datscha has further been able to corroborate its research by uncovering portfolio deals matched with latest Land Registry data – using the period from January 2017 to November 2017 against the same period in 2018.

Global versus local investors – and the largest single deal

Despite more than half of all deals being purchased by UK investors, volumes from domestic investors actually decreased between 2017 and 2018 (from £491m to £362m). Foreign investment (excluding private offshore investors) increased their interest in Liverpool from £146 million in 2017 to £361million in 2018, with the largest total foreign investment coming from the USA totalling £156m. This is a significant increase on the £15m invested in 2017. US investment was driven by large deals including Heitman’s forward funded purchase of the Baltic Quay residential development during September 2018 and Barings entry into the UK residential market with their £47m purchase of a private rent sector (PRS) block at the Queens Dock.

Lesley Males, Datscha’s Head of Research, commented: “Liverpool has performed well as a regional city over the past 12 months. It’s encouraging to see overseas investment at a time when the market is slowing down ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU – this demonstrates the city’s value to foreign investors.“

“Our research matches every asset within the portfolio to its correct title deed which reveals, with accuracy, the properties that are being transacted regionally – as opposed to providing a top line summary of the whole portfolio in isolation. Examples of significant portfolio deals, with assets in Liverpool, include the Foncieres des Regions £858m hotel portfolio deal as well as the £1.2bn MRH Petrol Station portfolio.”