Total transaction volumes in the UK hotel market during the first quarter of the year nearly doubled to £1.89b, compared with the same period in 2014.
Savills, the real estate company, said that the 47% increase in hotel investments between January and March sets the UK up for another busy year with regards changing ownership.
There has been a substantial rise in portfolio acquisitions, which accounted for 65% of all transactions in the first quarter compared with 28% in Q1 2014. The largest portfolio transaction so far this year has been the Lone Star's £676m purchase of the Jury's Inn group of 31 hotels, while Cerberus acquired the LRG2 portfolio, comprising 18 Holiday Inns, for £225m.
Savills also highlighted the continued interest in regional hotel assets, with only 34% of transactions taking place in London during Q1 2015 compared with 47% in the same quarter last year. Key regional transactions have included Ability Group's £20m acquisition of the Park Inn by Radisson in Manchester and Marathon's £27.5m purchase of the DoubleTree by Hilton in Chester.
Martin Rogers, hotels director at Savills, said: "Last year saw UK hotel transaction volumes reach an eight-year high at £6.1b and investor confidence has remained strong throughout the first quarter of 2015. Given the large volume of portfolios currently in the market, we are anticipating another robust year."