The UK’s capital is increasingly attractive to those high net worth investors from Asia and the Middle East looking to get on the property market.
Due to Covid-19, house prices in the UK have been falling, the stamp duty tax has been cut, and there are favourable exchange rates, making the move to London or elsewhere in the UK cheaper, and even more preferable alongside its already high quality education and opportunities.
Buyers from Hong Kong are also being swayed to the UK by the easing of immigration rules for British National’s Overseas and the political situation and protests currently occurring. Property director at Almacantar Kathrin Hersel has said that “Buyers from Hong Kong are driving the luxury residential market in London at the moment.” Inquiries from Hong Kong have more than doubled since mid-March from the year-earlier period according to Almacantar’s data.
This year’s pandemic has changed the requirements and priorities of a lot of people looking for a new home, and like UK residents who are now more likely to work from home and away from city living, Asian investors have an increasing want for outside space, gardens and being near to outdoor areas according to real estate investment company Euroterra. Also, the fact that many new developments in areas such as Canary Wharf and St Johns Wood are high rise buildings with luxury services such as a concierge and interconnected buildings with shops and wellness facilities, means that it creates a familiar feel for those from Dubai or Hong Kong where the living concepts are similar.
Coronavirus has had a huge impact on two of the UAE’s investing sectors, the tourism industry and oil. Now locals are looking to diversify their investments and move their money into safer bets around the world, and so buying in London while prices are down is a safe investment and offers future protection for families. Measures such as the stamp duty will remain in place until next year and data has shown that the pent up demand created a surge in house buying with Rightmove reporting more homes selling within a week than at any time in the past 10 years.
Post Coronavirus restrictions, there could be another surge in home buying in the UK from overseas investors able to travel and visit homes more freely. Black Brick says the current quarantine rules which see anyone coming into the country needing to isolate for 14 days ‘will, of course, have a very significant impact on the numbers of international buyers coming to the UK in the coming weeks’.
Outside of London, there are also buyers from Asia looking to buy at the lower end of the price range usually around £400,000. This buying criteria is most frequently met in northern cities particularly Manchester and Liverpool, which after London are the most popular cities for Chinese buyers.
Right now, there is a good balance between home prices being low and good exchange rates, making the UK and particularly London a great catch for those looking to safely invest and secure their future in a vibrant city.