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Property veteran bets on Oxford Street rebound as his family office buys site at knockdown price

105-109 Oxford Street  (Aspida Capital)
105-109 Oxford Street (Aspida Capital)

A property sector veteran’s family office bought an Oxford Street retail property at a knockdown price today, in a bet the throughfare’s recent revival will translate to higher values.

Aspida Capital, the family office of Antony Antoniou, bought 105-109 Oxford Street - home to Danish variety store Flying Tiger and sex shop Harmony - from Thor Equities for £18.5 million today.

Thor purchased the site for £42 million in 2015, but the pandemic and “scourge” of American-style candy shops hit Oxford Street property values.

Rents fell 35% to £1.075 million since 2019 but Aspida said the current “rental tone” suggests they should rise above £1.25 million at the next review in 2025, amid a wider Oxford Street rebound fuelled by £1 billion worth of investment. Recent openings on London’s high street include the NBA Store, a Kurt Geiger flagship and the return of HMV.

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Antoniou said: “Oxford Street is reclaiming its crown as the UK’s top retail destination. What started with the Elizabeth Line drawing increased footfall is now being cemented with the £1bn investment in the flagship retail stores for international brands.

“This acquisition represents a very attractive investment opportunity, with excellent scope for both rental and underlying asset value growth, over the short to medium term.

“We are currently seeing a narrowing of the gap between vendor expectation and investor appetite in the real estate sector.

“This has been driven by increasing pressure from banks for returns on their investments and the ‘higher for longer’ interest rate mantra from both sides of the Atlantic, underlining that any swift change in the market is unlikely.

“The current market conditions are ideal for family office investors, who are cash rich and ready to deploy that capital in quality assets. We are actively looking at a number of commercial investment opportunities in the capital and beyond.”