Helena Lyng Blak
3 weeks ago

Contradictory Cues: US Commercial Real Estate Investment in London Spikes as House Prices Continue to Fall

US investors ramp up commercial real estate purchases in London amidst a backdrop of declining house prices—decoding the divergent trends in Britain's property market.
Terraced Houses and blured "Black Cab" in Clapham, London. (Long exposure) — Photo by fazon1 / DepositPhotos
Terraced Houses and blured "Black Cab" in Clapham, London. (Long exposure) — Photo by fazon1 / DepositPhotos

United States investors are buying commercial real estate in London at the fastest rate in eight years. This data, compiled by BNP Paribas and reported by Reuters, suggests that the rebounding interest is borne out of Britain seemingly bouncing back better than the US.

Residential House Prices Declining

Meanwhile, Nationwide Building Society’s House Price Index saw a slowing in annual house price growth in the month of April for residential houses. 

According to the financial institution, house prices in the United Kingdom fell 0.4% month-on-month in April, and the annual rate of change slowed to 0.6% from March’s 1.6%.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist said, “The slowdown likely reflects ongoing affordability pressures, with longer term interest rates rising in recent months, reversing the steep fall seen around the turn of the year. House prices are now around 4% below the all-time highs recorded in the summer of 2022, after taking account of seasonal effects.”’

Gardner further highlights that first-time buyers in particular are holding off purchasing homes, citing high house prices as well as concerns about cost of living.

Mortgage Approvals Rising

Adding to the complexity is the fact that UK mortgage approvals rose for a sixth month in March, according to Bloomberg.

In March, the highest amount of home loans were authorized in 18 months, since September 2022. 

These figures suggest that the UK may be gradually emerging from recession, despite the mixed signals from different sectors of the real estate market.

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