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For many British and international real estate investors, London and other major cities in the UK are no longer a ‘financial haven’. Since the UK voted to leave the EU, many efforts have been made – especially from Theresa May – to activate article 50. For now, what awaits ‘the land of the rose’ is a mystery.
Despite the atmosphere of uncertainty across the UK, Britain has seen an increase in real estate investments from a specific ‘optimistic’ group – the Chinese. Buyers from China and Hong Kong continue to seize trophy assets in the West End and the City of London whilst investing in numerous residential development schemes.
Eugene O’Sullivan, Managing Director at Morgan Pryce and London’s Leading Chartered Surveyor, says; “Close to 15% of the properties in the City and the West End are Chinese-owned after major acquisitions have been made from Irish groups who were recently struck by financial crises.”
The weakened and distressed pound is the main factor influencing the Asian super power to demand UK property. However, there are other aspects to take into consideration.
J.X. Paulin, expert real estate investor and entrepreneur in China, suggests that there are a several reasons for this current trend; “Many Chinese fear the depreciation of the Renminbi and possibly stronger capital control from the Chinese government, which encourages investors from mainland China to devote their had earned cash to British bricks in order to increase the liquidity of their assets. Furthermore, there is a great deal of worry about political chaos in Hong Kong, and some individuals see foreign investment as a gateway to emigrate to the UK to find a foothold where their children can further their education by attending British universities.”
With increasing property prices in China and Hong Kong’s residential and commercial markets, other opportunities now hold more exposure. For both Chinese and Hong Kong investors, it is wiser to purchase trophy assets and investment schemes in major cities such as London, Liverpool and Manchester, where they get their hands on cost-efficient, high yielding investments with stable returns.
Fraser Williams, Director at Morgan Pryce, explains, “Chinese investors tend to hold on for a long time, especially in London; we don’t see much flipping.”
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.