CommerzReal eyes London market

The real estate arm of German bank, Commerzbank, has returned to the London property market for the first time in three years after previously buying the headquarters of insurance institution, Lloyd’s of London.

CommerzReal is targeting the London real estate market after a three year absence saying opportunities in the UK are once again “interesting” for the fund manager.

The real estate arm of the German bank, Commerzbank, which manages open and closed-ended property funds, said it had just acquired office building Athene Place for the open-ended hausInvest europa fund, which is fully let to consulting company Deloitte.

Hans-Joachim Kühl, CommerzReal’s head of real estate acquisitions, said however the London market was now proving much more attractive for the firm overall adding that as the property market slowdown took hold “market conditions are gradually returning to normal.”

“We are once again looking at attractive investment opportunities,” he said in a statement. “The UK has once again developed into an interesting investment market for us. We are convinced that London will remain one of the most important markets in Europe.” 

CommerzReal’s last acquisition in London through its closed-end funds was in 2005 when it bought the Lloyds Building. The office building, designed by architect Richard Rogers and built between 1978 and 1986, is located at One Lime Street and is home to the insurance institution Lloyd’s of London.

Since then the firm has been actively selling parts of its portfolio, Kühl added in the statement. CommerzReal has more than €44 billion ($28 billion) in assets under management through its open-ended and closed-end real estate funds, institutional property funds, REITs and closed-end funds for ships, aviation, and renewable energy.

In June, Leon Bressler, partner of Perella Weinberg Partners, said mass repricing in countries such as the UK, Spain and Ireland had created “exceptional conditions” for real estate investing arguing Europe now offered some of the “best risk-adjusted returns in the real estate world.”