Key investors were UK institutions, local authorities and property companies, all of whom see the region as an area of growth.
In the office sector, £130-140 million changed hands in 12 deals, with major transactions including Columbia Threadneedle’s acquisition of Fusion, Solent Business Park, for £30 million and Tristan Capital’s purchase of Forum for £40 million, also on Solent Business Park.
Other notable deals of the year included Eastleigh Borough Council’s acquisition of New Court, Chandlers Ford, let to Blake Morgan for approximately £15.78m, and Henderson’s sale of Town Quay, Southampton, for £7.58m to RO Group.
The industrial and logistics sector saw transactions reach £200 million in 2016 and this is by far the most popular asset class with investors, predominantly due to a shortage in supply and with rental growth prospects supported by strong occupier demand.
Key transactions were Blackrock’s funding of Alpha Park, Chandlers Ford, for approximately £20 million, DTZIM’s purchase of Railway Triangle, Portsmouth, for £31 million, Hermes’ purchase of Fleets Corner in Poole and Paloma Capital’s acquisition of Interchange Park, Portsmouth, for approximately £10.5 million.
Jerry Vigus, director of capital markets for Lambert Smith Hampton on the South Coast, comments: "2016 was a turbulent year following the Brexit vote in June which created uncertainty in the market. However, by September, activity returned and yields were restored to the levels achieved at the beginning of the year. There was a period between June and August where investors were able to take advantage of the retail funds selling assets.
"2017 has started how 2016 finished, with the majority of investors focusing on the industrial and logistics sector due to occupier demand, shortage of available buildings to let and rents still showing signs of increasing.”