UK property gets bulk of South Korean investments in Europe

River Thames, London. S. Borisov/Shutterstock

The UK drew more than 40 percent of South Korean commercial property investment in Europe last year, reported the Financial Times, citing research from Cushman & Wakefield.

London commanded the bulk of those investments, with the British capital luring GBP2.3 billion (USD3 billion) from South Korean groups last year. The figure represents 12 percent of total property investment volumes in London and trails the GBP2.5 billion poured by Hong Kong investors into the city.

“The wave of Korean capital that flowed into the European real estate sector over 2018 was remarkable,” Jonghan Kim, head of Korea at Cushman’s EMEA capital markets team, told the Times.

The Korean appetite for London property is “borne out of the city’s unrivalled liquidity and attractive pricing relative to compressed yields in key European cities such as Frankfurt and Paris,” explained Jaewon Yoon, head of outbound investment for Savills Korea.

It was a record year overall for South Korean investment in Europe’s commercial property market. Investment volumes in 2018 stood at EUR7.3 billion, a sixfold increase over the past five years, Cushman & Wakefield noted to the Times.

South Korean pension fund National Pension Service (NPS) bought London’s Plumtree Court building in August for GBP1.2 billion. It is set to house the European headquarters of Goldman Sachs.