The firm’s hotels director Simon Wells believes the UK’s favourable investment climate is the reason behind this surge of interest from countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
He said: “The UK is regarded as a safe haven and while we have always had enquiries from all over the world, interest seems particularly keen at the moment.”
Focusing on hotels in the West of England, Wells has seen increased interest from Italians, and he had enquiries from Thailand and India just in the last week, but he added that former expats returning to the UK were also looking at investing.
“Some buyers are returning UK nationals returning from stints in Brazil, the Middle East and even Australia – areas where the free trade that we take for granted is more restrictive and that doesn’t always sit well with an entrepreneur.”
Return on investment
According to Wells, buys are inclined to look west in order to maximise returns on investment, with regional tourism experiencing consistent growth and revenue per available room also on the increase.
“These buyers are pushing beyond the M25 in greater numbers in order to find a return on their investment. Tourism in the UK has been a key driver in the UK’s growth in the last two years, outperforming most other sectors.”
He pointed out that the return of banks to the sector and recession-adjusted purchasing prices are further favourable factors encouraging investors to buy now.
“Domestic interest is growing strongly in parallel with the interest from global investors which means we are starting to see competition for hotels across the UK,” he added.
Growth was predicted at the start of this year on the back of the economic recovery and ‘overheating’ in other property markets, such as offices, industrial and retails.
Speaking to BigHospitality in May, Colliers director of research and forecasting Walter Boettcher said hotel investment levels were nearing pre-2008 numbers, with slower growth in London than in the regions.