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News : Property Last Updated: Nov 6, 2012 - 7:35 AM

German investors own about on-third of commercial property in City of London
By Finfacts Team
Nov 6, 2012 - 6:27 AM

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Sunset at Tower Bridge Credit: Vic Thomasson, City of London

New research1 from Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC), a US manufacturer of business, special mission and trainer aircraft, has found that strong investment by overseas corporates in commercial property in the City of London has coincided with an increase in business flights into the capital. Roughly £39bn worth of commercial property in the City is owned by foreign investors, with German businesses the biggest foreign investors, owning around 13.5m square feet of office space at an estimated valuation of £12bn. This represents almost a third (31%) of the total overseas investment in commercial property in the City.

One aspect of London which appeals to international investors is the large number of airports servicing the city.  This appears to be a significant factor for German businesses, as over the first half of 2012 Germany saw the third highest volume of business flights into the UK.

So far this year, flights from Germany have been landing in Britain at average intervals of less than every two hours. Furthermore, between 2009 and 2011, the number of business flights into the UK from Germany increased by 18.1%.

Other well-represented regions in the City of London include the Middle East and Ireland, whose businesses own an estimated £4.5bn and £3bn of commercial property there respectively.

Overall, a staggering 52% of commercial properties in the City of London, representing 44m square feet of office space, are owned by foreign investors.

HBC says it is currently the leading aircraft manufacturer in the UK, holding a 37% market share in the segments in which it competes, including a 54% market share in turboprop aircraft2.

“London remains one of the biggest and most influential financial capitals in the world and it is therefore no surprise to see that commercial properties in the City are still very much sought-after by overseas businesses,” said Sean McGeough, HBC president, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. “Not only is London perfect for conducting business on a global scale, but it is also supported by a high number of business airports such as London City, Biggin Hill and Farnborough, allowing for travel into the heart of the city from continental Europe within a matter of hours.” 

Table of nationalities with the biggest commercial property ownership in the City of London


Estimated number of commercial properties owned in the City of London

Estimated square footage of commercial properties owned in the City of London (ft2)

Total estimated value of properties owned in the City of London

United Kingdom








Middle East








Other Europe




World (excl. Europe)








 Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kansas.

1 HBC analysis of Development Securities and University of Cambridge data

2 HBC analysis of JetNet data, August 2012

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