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Newbuild first choice for overseas investors

19th August 2013

Newbuild first choice for overseas investors

The popularity of Central London property for investors from overseas is continuing according to recent figures. Of particular interest in the current climate is newbuild residential property in prime London locations. Chesterton Humberts indicates that as much as 65 to 75% of such newbuild homes in the capital have been sold to investors during the last two years. And the numbers of overseas purchasers over the last four years has increased by 56.3% – certainly not something that could have been predicted back in 2009. 

While buyers are frequently seen from China, Russia and the Middle East, there are also a noticeable increase from countries such as France, Hong Kong, Greece and Nigeria, who may be looking for a more stable economy to invest in in terms of politics, the legal system and tax. Many of these buyers have seen taxes or conditions imposed on property ownership in their own countries and are looking for somewhere more rewarding to invest their cash. 

Inevitably, this keenness on the part of buyers is leading to an upsurge in property prices in the capital, which have increased by 8.1%. 

Mortgage lenders have also indicated that newbuild properties in London are proving popular, with the average capital values having risen by almost 50% since 2009. On top of this, the uplift for a central London new property often comes in at 10 to 15% – though may indeed be higher. 

Eugene O’Sullivan, of Morgan Pryce, comments, “It is interesting to see that the residential sector is faring similarly to the commercial sector in London in terms of overseas interest, albeit that it’s the newbuild properties that seem to be driving the foreign investment. It is not surprising to see the increase in property prices as a result, and with new developments now coming into the pipeline, this may either attract even more foreign investment and keep prices high, or ease the demand slightly, leading to a levelling out of prices.”

Indeed, the contrast with the rest of the UK’s property market is stark, and the debate among the experts is whether the London condition can continue. If not, it may be that there is an increased shift towards overseas investment to offices in London instead. 

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. 


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