Super rich target South Yorkshire to beat London blues

St Paul's Sheffield
St Paul's Sheffield
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Wealthy foreign investors spent nearly £1bn buying commercial property in the Yorkshire region over the last two years when London failed to hit the mark for place or price.

Over the past 10 years as a whole, overseas investment accounted for a relatively modest 12 per cent of total investment into Yorkshire’s commercial property market.

However, figures from Knight Frank’s latest Wealth Report, for 2012 and 2013 combined, show overseas investment in the region has accounted for more than a third of total investment, with just under £1bn worth of transactions.

As well as prime residential property, Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, have become increasingly interested in investing in commercial property, primarily attracted by London, but with second-tier cities in the UK like Sheffield and Leeds often providing the most efficient and cost effective solution for investors.

In South Yorkshire investments included a £20m deal in 2013 by a private middle eastern client for the the landmark “cheesegrater” St Paul’s car park and casino/retail unit on Arundel Gate in Sheffield. Strong interest led to a competitive bidding process.

Stephen Hodgson, Sheffield-based partner and head of regional commercial offices at Knight Frank, said: “As well as the rising levels of investment, there has been a noticeable shift in the types of markets being targeted by global investors.

“As the appetite for risk rises, so too has demand for commercial property in previously out-of-favour locations, such as second-tier cities.”