SWFs Interested In SW1

Ashby Monk

SWFs from Australia, China, Libya, Norway, Qatar, and elsewhere are all currently looking to London and the UK for real estate investments. I love London, but it was the most expensive city in the world in 2008! Shouldn’t these funds be looking to invest in cities that are undervalued?

What a difference a year makes; the picture in 2009 is quite different. The discounting of the Pound during the global financial crisis appears to have indeed created a buying moment. According to a UBS report, London fell from 1st in 2008 to 21st in 2009 in a global ranking of the “most expensive cities.”

So, when it comes to property investments, SWFs are betting that, over the long-term, London will not remain cheaper than Caracas, Dubai, Dublin, Lyon, etc. That seems a reasonable basis for investing in SW1.

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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