Tired of London?


“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” So said, Dr Samuel Johnson in 1773.

As a huge fan of London myself, currently working in London and resolutely keen to return to living in London in the future, nearly 250 years on this statement holds true for me. And so it must seem for many observers of international Islamic investment into real estate, with London continuing to dominate the headlines.

However, whilst it is a far fetched claim to suggest that Islamic real estate investors are tired of London, they are certainly looking for new ideas and new territories, driven by rising confidence, diversification and maybe just a hint of boredom? “Show me something different”.

90 North recently concluded its first investment in The Netherlands, having started with Germany and Norway last year. Whilst the tenant name of Siemens gave investors familiarity to try a new location, this is part of a wider trend, with investor interest spreading to whole new continents.
During recent travels to the Middle East what struck me was the appetite that some investors had for completely new locations, with some saying that they were full with the UK and had changed their focus to South East Asia, whilst an investor I met in Malaysia was looking for opportunities in Japan.

I find it fantastic that as an industry we have provided the structure and opportunities for Islamic capital to criss-cross the globe, and pleased by the ever expanding international field of view that many investors have.

Tired of London? No, but Islamic investors are looking to complement the home of Greenwich Mean Time with an increasing number of different time zones around the world. Long may it continue.

Philip Churchill is the founder and managing
partner at 90 North Real Estate Partners. He
can be contacted at pchurchill@90northrep.com