NFU Mutual buys London asset close to Crossrail

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The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society (NFU Mutual) has bought a former London fire station from Aberdeen Asset Management.

The 18,699 sq ft empty asset, which has had office use since 1999, was sold for £21.6m (€29.9m).

The asset, in Fitzrovia’s Maple Street, is close to Tottenham Court Road Underground station, where London’s Crossrail line will open in 2018.

NFU Mutual investment fund asset manager David Hidderley said that, with Fitzrovia office void rates at historically low levels of 3%, the investor sees “strong potential for rental growth and future performance”.

In the same area, Orchard Street Investment Management has invested £36.5m in an office and retail property in New Oxford Street.

John Humberstone, partner at Orchard Street, said the 17,729 sq ft property was in an area of London that has been the focus of “intense development and regeneration activity”.

The off-market deal, for St James’s Place Wealth Management, reflected a 4.1% yield.

Richard Howard, head of central London agency at DTZ, which advised NFU on its deal, said investor appetite was growing with the opening of Crossrail.

“We can expect capital and rental growth to continue as more occupiers become attracted to the area,” Howard said.

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