Investment in Yorkshire second only to capital

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Yorkshire was home to the largest amount of commercial property deals outside of London in the first half of the year, new data has shown.

Of the more than £2bn of commercial property activity transacted in the first half of 2018, Yorkshire & Humber secured highest investment, with values amounting to £829,108,154.

The region was ahead of both the North West and Scotland.

However the capital and surrounding areas still accounted for the vast majority of the activity, amounting to 70.7 per cent of the UK’s total.

According to Datscha, who compiled the data, the growth in regional investment is being driven by North American investors seeking an alternative, higher-yielding investment outside of London.

Lesley Males, Datscha’s head of research, told The Yorkshire Post: “North Americans in particular are targeting the regions outside of London.

“They are looking at student accommodation in particular, as well as the private rental market.

“US investors are obviously being a bit more cautious and are seeing the potential for better returns in Yorkshire.”

Ms Males in particular cited examples of deals such as the £858m Principal Hayley Hotel deal and the £162m Sterling Industrial portfolio deal.

Large single asset deals to complete during the quarter include the Pinnacle in Leeds which was sold for £65m and the Tesco Extra in Doncaster for £53m.

Pointing towards increased values for deals in Sheffield in recent weeks, Ms Males said she saw no signs that the trend would not continue going into 2019.

“It will continue into next year,” she said.

“There are no signs of the market slowing down.

“Even with all the negativity that surrounds Brexit, there is still a real appetite to invest into the UK.

“Sheffield as an example has already seen two deals worth more than £100m. It is a great location for investors at the moment.”

She added: “It’s a given that London and the South Eastern regions will always top the list of total investment transactions because of the high values they hold, however it’s great to see regions such as Yorkshire and Humber leading investment trends in the regions.

“Our further research reveals that foreign buyers, namely from the USA, are largely interested in regions such as Yorkshire and Humber (rather than just London’s trophy buildings) as their commercial properties remain competitively priced and hold good utilitarian value.”

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Northern Ireland saw the poorest levels of investment, followed by the North East of England and Wales.