London's commercial property community is confused.
On the one hand, the optimists are saying the British capital remains a haven and is one of only a few locations in the world where a return is guaranteed.
On the other, the naysayers warn that people are overpaying for assets in the capital andit is experiencing another bubble.
Evidence of the strength of London's market was seen in two strong sets of property company results at the end of last month. Great Portland Estates reported a record year for leasing, while Shaftesbury, which owns property around London's theatreland, said its estate was virtually full.
"Nothing is ever totally bulletproof but London property is a very good place to be," Toby Cortauld, the chief executive of Great Portland, told London's Evening Standard. "If you're an Asian or an American it's smack between your two biggest markets, we speak English, the rule of law is strong and we have buckets of talent."
Overseas investors now account for more than half the buying activity in the London market, compared with a third 10 years ago, according to Mr Cortauld.
Michael Spies, the head of Europe at the global developer Tishman Speyer, pointed out the capital continued to be of interest to developers.
You only have to count the cranes around the City to see that plenty of investors still have faith in London, but it is risky and that's the way it should be, according to Mr Spies.
"If you're in any way celebrating at a groundbreaking [the moment construction of a building begins] you're too late, you should be sick to your stomach," he said at a recent property conference at the Cass Business School in the City of London.
For the record, 90 per cent of what Tishman Speyer is doing is in Brazil, China and India.
But even if you are convinced London is a commercial property haven, it isn't necessarily going to supply growth in the next five years, according to Tony McGough, the global head of forecasting and strategy at DTZ, a property adviser. That accolade goes only to Asia Pacific.
Yet Asian investors still look to London for diversification. Now a Malaysian group is in pole position to take the troubled development project Battersea Power Station out of administration.
Matthew Webster, the global head of property finance at HSBC, confirmed London was one of 20 to 30 cities around the globe that were stable investment locations.
"London is benefiting from the stability of its economy, the fact that it can control its monetary supply and its competitive position vis-à-vis other markets," said Mr Webster. "That's why a huge number of overseas investors are still coming here. Sub-5 per cent yields on Bond Street may not make sense today, but if you take a 50-year view, it's a different story."
Last month, a Korean pension fund completed its debut deal in the capital, buying an unremarkable South Bank office block for £165 million (Dh942.6m), prompting experts to ask if London was entering another bubble.
The value of Middle East investment in London's new-build residential market almost doubled last year, a side effect of the Arab Spring. One of the biggest investments made from the region was Qatari Diar's £300m punt on redeveloping the Shell Centre, a 1960s office block also on the South Bank, with Canary Wharf Group.
The Qataris and the Canary Wharf developer paid £300m for a 999-year lease of the buildings, which have been home to the oil group for 50 years.
Chris de Pury, a property partner at the law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, agreed the current tide of Asian and Middle Eastern money looking for a home in London was not an ordinary scenario. "It's about assets and wealth preservation. They are parking cash in a safe place."
Mike McGuinness, the development director at the retail property company Hammerson, pointed out property had unique qualities. "People get a kick out of owning an object," he says. "It's emotional. And only London [in the United Kingdom] has the signature buildings that people want."
Another thing that sets London apart from other cities as an investment location is the quality of advisers there. The depth and quality of data collected and the advice from the bankers, surveyors and lawyers who service the sector is very robust.
"That is very important to London remaining a safe haven," Mr Webster said. Yet there are significant differences compared with the last time the market was this hot. Howard Dawber, the strategic adviser at Canary Wharf, recalled that five to six years ago the market was "hugely unrealistic".
Around the group's Docklands estate, Asian investors bought flats and did not even let them, so small a component of the overall return was the rent. Developers even started designing the product to meet that market, resulting in hundreds of flats that are not fit to live in.
But experts agree the speculative players who fuelled the last bubble are no longer present in the market. Many were Irish and are now nursing their own spectacular losses.
This time around, it is different. People are actually looking at the buildings they buy, for a start, rather than simply adding up the cash flows on a spreadsheet.
Long term, the demographics for London are more than healthy. Because of immigration and a rising birth rate, the city's population is predicted to grow by 1 million to just under 8 million by 2025. Some 700,000 additional homes will be needed, as well as more schools, more shops and offices.
One estimate is another 50 million square feet of office space will be needed by 2025, that is the equivalent of 50 more Canary Wharf towers.
There is a risk, however, that the capital's creaking infrastructure will not be able to cope with this influx of people - more than the entire population of Birmingham, the UK's second city. "London has a power issue, a telecoms issue and a transport issue," said Mr Dawber.
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government cancelled plans for a third runway at Heathrow but there are signs there might be U-turn, as a way of pulling the country out of recession
One thing is for certain: if the infrastructure fails this summer during the Olympics the whole world will know about it.
The property community still has faith that London remains a haven. But it is far from being the easiest place to make money.
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