Knight Frank, one of London’s largest and most prominent estate agents has reported that once again foreign buyers are pushing up house prices in Central London.
According to the firm the proportion of foreign buyers in Central London stood at 68% in June this year, compared to 53% in June last year, with foreign buyers even more dominant in the top end of the market.
“The weakness of the pound ensures that effective discounts available to foreign buyers are still very significant. Surveys over the summer found that seven in 10 London homes priced at over £5 million are going to foreign investors,” said Liam Bailey, head of residential research for the firm.
Foreign buyers outnumber Brits in Belgravia, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill and even Earl’s Court according to Savills.
Foreign buyers are apparently good for the estate agencies now, but according to some, including Belgravia-based buying agent Huntly Hooper, are reporting on the formation of national clusters. If this is true it could well be setting a trend for these areas for the foreseeable future, because, for all the talk of multicultural Britain, units within these clusters will likely be very difficult to sell outside of the prevalent nationality.
Ollie Hooper director of the firm, what says half its clients gave insight: “Middle Eastern buyers have always had a keen interest in London, but as the global economy grew in the late Nineties Russians and former USSR residents became dominant.
“More recently, the global economic crisis has produced a new type of buyer – the super-wealthy from China, India and Eastern Asia. Central London property is seen as a must-have for the world’s wealthy, and national clusters are beginning to emerge.”
Savills buying agency Prime Purchase said that foreign buyers are increasingly buying into the top end apartment complexes with concierge services, over standalone properties which were previously most popular.
Hugo Thistlethwayte, a spokesperson for the firm gave insight into which locations are being favoured by the different nationalities, he said:
“Although recently closely associated with Knightsbridge, Russians along with Uzbeks have brought Mayfair back as a residential address. Middle Eastern buyers prefer the north of Hyde Park, Bayswater and Kensington, while Far Eastern buyers are often looking to buy for investment purposes and prefer new developments.”
Photo credits: Herry via Flickr