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Real Estate Investment

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With demand for prime assets higher than ever, real estate investment is becoming an increasingly global market. Being able to respond quickly to investment opportunities, in whatever jurisdiction they present themselves, is essential. Whether you are looking to make your first investment in the UK or adding to a growing portfolio across Europe, at CMS we have a team of lawyers with exceptional experience across the full range of investment sectors, including the more specialist alternative asset classes.

We are working with the most active funds across the UK, together with a range of private equity and individual investors, helping them acquire and realise the best returns on a wide range of investment assets including retail, leisure, hotels, office, industrial, residential and student accommodation.

We build long-standing relationships with our clients, large and small, to understand their strategy and priorities as an investor. For example, we have exclusive mandates on the M&G Property Portfolio fund and Aberdeen Property Trust - currently the two largest real estate funds of their kind in the UK. We also have exclusive mandates on the Akzo Nobel, Siemens and Thames Water pension schemes, funds which focus on smaller investment properties. We have acted for these funds for over 20 years, dealing with all portfolio matters from multi million pound acquisitions and disposals to licences to assign and rent review memoranda.

In addition to our UK work, we have European-wide relationships with investors like Pramerica who we have acted for in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Highlights of our Experience in Real Estate Investment in the UK
Standard Life Investments on the ac­quis­i­tion, joint development funding and letting of 3-8 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.  Valued at around GBP 75m, the 108,000 square foot deal is the biggest pre-let...
Law-Now: Real Estate
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Advising the Board


Taking the long view Even in challenging times, real estate investors continue to have a strong degree of confidence in the future of the sector.
Sustainable offices and EPC requirements
Investors may be moving towards the view that making offices sustainable does not necessarily equate to higher costs for occupiers.
The majority of UK real estate professionals continue to believe that London is overvalued. As our chart shows, this is very much business as usual. Over the past eight years, only 2021 - when investors began to wonder what a post-covid market might look like - has challenged the status quo. Even then, what we saw was only a significant narrowing of the gap, not a reversal.In this year’s polling, 62% of our respondents feel London is overvalued, as opposed to 6% who believe it is undervalued. These are the most bearish numbers we have seen since pre‑Brexit days.
The view from the UK
Every year we ask a cross-section of leading UK real estate professionals for their views on the market. This year we polled 270 experts, including 62 investors and 54 developers. In many ways they share the outlook of the global investors we surveyed, with long-term confidence tempered by short-term con­cerns.Over­all, 38% reported feeling optimistic about the market, while 34% describe themselves as neutral and 28% are pess­im­ist­ic.Al­though positive, this take on the market is unsurprisingly more cautious than the one we found 12 months ago, with sentiment falling back to levels last seen at the beginning of the pandemic as the more bullish outlook of the past two years recedes.
Global cities
As our chart shows, the genuinely ‘global’ cities remain the most appealing (albeit by slim margins), with the top four slots going to London, Paris, Tokyo and New York.
The big picture
Despite a difficult year and an uncertain outlook, we found strong underlying positives among investors globally.
Asset classes
Given the strong demand/supply imbalance, it is no surprise to see ‘living’ asset classes take the top spots when professionals are asked which sectors they favour.
There is general agreement that, in the short term, financing is getting harder – with 70% of UK real estate professionals believing it will become more difficult to access debt over the next 12 months.
Many in the real estate industry are keen to embrace technological innovations, including the latest green technologies.
Future Planning?
One thing nearly all our UK respondents agree on is that the planning system is not working and needs investment. A massive 90% say the system is slowing down real estate development, while 93% reckon it is under-resourced.