Weak pound attracts surge of overseas investors to UK in H1 2017

In the first half of 2017, Savills was involved in the sale of Ramada Inn Southport to Bliss Investment.

A weak pound helped spur foreign investment in hotels across the UK in the first half of 2017.

Investment in North West hotels in the UK totaled £201 million, according to a report from consultant Savills and as reported by Place North West.

Across the north, hotel investment reached £304 million from 30 deals, representing 36 percent of the £844 million total for all regions outside of London, Place North West reported. The South East’s percentage of deals reached 29 percent, the South West’s 24 percent and Scotland’s 11 percent.

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London’s market exceeded the rest combined, with investment reaching £1.1 billion in the first half and attributing for 55 percent of all UK hotel transactions by value. Tom Cunningham, hotels director at Savills in Manchester, told Place North West, “For investors looking outside of London, the hotel market in the North West is particularly attractive due to the prices and returns available. The bigger towns and cities of the region offer a strong corporate and leisure trade, leading to high occupancy rates. We expect trade to remain positive for the foreseeable future.”

Overseas investors led the purchases, acquiring £1.2 billion of hotel assets in H1, compared to £822 million purchased by domestic investors. Martin Rogers, head of UK hotel transactions at Savills, told Place North West, “The UK hotel market has had a strong start to the year as the sector remains resilient to the headwinds of the last six months. The favorable exchange rate has attracted overseas buyers that are looking for stable, long term income. The anticipation of a softer Brexit will provide further comfort, encouraging development and relieving pressure on staffing.”

Savills assisted in The Hotel Collection’s £12.8-million sale of the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool to Singapore-based Fragrance Group among the key hotel transactions it has acted on this year. The firm was also involved in the sale of Ramada Plaza Southport to Bliss Investment.

Within the sector, other deals included Topland’s sale of the Holiday Inn Express in June to Hiap Hoe for £26 million and Starwood’s April purchase of the Holiday Inn on Aytoun Street Manchester for a reported £58 million.