By Chris Day, global MD Christie & Co
It has been more than a month since the EU referendum, and although many overseas investors intend to wait and see until better understanding of Britain’s future after Brexit and further renegotiations are settled, many investors view this as a rare opportunity and seek any bargain given by a weakened British pound.
Among these investors, Chinese and Hong Kong investors are relatively active and have completed many transactions, both property and corporate, across the UK and the expected inbound tourism boom due to a sharply dropped currency has encouraged players into the UK hotel market.
Given the weakened currency rate and its reputation, it is clear that Asian investors continue to see UK as an attractive destination for the foreseeable future.
Even though investors are possibly becoming increasingly reluctant to invest in the London market as prices continue to rise, they have started considering sites in the UK regions instead. While London continues to remain an international hotspot for hotels, tier one UK regional cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham are all increasing in demand, price and profitability, and we have also seen high level transactions taking place in more secondary locations, such as Stratford-upon-Avon, Cambridge and the Scottish Highlands.
With the hotel market specifically, over the last two years, we have seen a shift in attitudes with more investors who had previously concentrated solely on residential and office opportunities now considering hotels. With numerous factors contributing to the boost in the hospitality trade in secondary UK cities, this is a prime focus for those seeking guidance on the best opportunities.
Chris Day is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants who offer global hospitality expertise and counsel.