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>> They have names like the Walkie Talkie, and The Cheesegrater. Some of the London skyline's most iconic properties are being bought up by a surge of Chinese investors. Their investment has tripled since before Britain decided to leave the European Union, and now make up a 3.9 billion pound share, according to industry estimates.
Reuters' Dasha Afanasieva uncovered the huge deals being made. The biggest such investment was the 1.3 billion pound acquisition of the Walkie Talkie Building by Lee Kum Kee, which is a huge food conglomerate that makes sauces and condiments. Chinese investors, and particularly investors sort of headquartered or with funds in Hong Kong, have a need to diversify away from Hong Kong, which is really, really expensive.
As it happens, London is one of the sort of gateway real estate capitals. It's one of the main places where you would go and park your money. The weakening pound may be encouraging to grams but it seems to be largely contained to commercial property. Buyers see those buildings as safe and stable long term investments.
It's also rebalancing Chinese investment away from American cities like New York and San Francisco which have much bigger holdings. The reasons for that include a cheaper pound, the amount of money that's flashing around because of cheap interest rates. The rule of law here which has a good reputation, the sort of central placement of time zones, and it's also cultural factors.
A lot of the people that I spoke to said that the Chinese investors who come here have all kinds of cultural links. They might have gone to university here, they might have family that live here and they feel like they know the place. Capital from China made up a third of all investment into London commercial properties this year.
These overseas investors are clearly confident that the capital's very best offices will continue to be occupied, even after Brexit.