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Over the past year we have seen a steep increase in interest from Chinese buyers. Aside from rental income and investment, international education has been a huge driver for those looking to London for property.
With respect to the civil unrest between China and Hong Kong, political strife tends to trigger financial safety planning. As tensions have increase over the past year, we are seeing an influx in people from Hong Kong, including British expats, looking to purchase property in the UK as an intent to protect their wealth in the present, and invest for the future. The fear of uncertainty is driving people to take their portfolios to safer political climates, and London has always been seen as a safe haven where they can count on property values appreciating and the prestige of London’s global status has always been attractive.
In recent months, enquiries from mainland China has slowed as anticipated because this is the time of year when they are doing year-end finance. The process of planning ahead includes assessment of their current holdings, and researching into possible options for next year. Now that they can take advantage of the currency rates we would expect the number of enquiries to normalize again after year-end.
The Summer season is upon us, and whilst London has many visitors from around the globe visiting the numerous attractions London has to offer, it is also well known that these visitors often combine their trips with the possibility of investment into real estate. Throughout the course of the year we have been reporting that Dollar and RMB buyers have been the driving factor behind investment into London and this continues to be the case in the main. However, we have seen interest increasing in the Super Prime levels, with more registered buyers with £20m+ looking for good homes for their families. The unrest and current situation in Hong Kong, has also seen a spike in the number of enquiries coming through for both “end users” and investors, the contributing factor being that London is viewed as a safe haven for investment in property in the longer term. The infrastructure of London’s legal and financial districts coupled with the leading city for education in the world offers investors comfort in acquiring property on a buy-to-let basis, with future capital growth potential.
Our Chinese market is getting more active recently. One of the reasons is that, as the weather warms for the summer holidays, parents are taking their children on vacations in the UK. Additionally because of Brexit investors are visiting London properties as this may be their last chance to make the most of this period of uncertainty, where uncertainty is holding the prices down. Last month, we have helped our clients reach and agreeable deal and negotiated the best price. Therefore, it is reasonable to predict that in the following months we will see a drastic increase in enquiries and viewings.
It is worth mentioning that some developers have refused to drop their prices during this period because they are still seeing a good number of enquiries. As a result, for those in the Chinese market who are still looking to invest in the UK, it is a signal that time is running out on the ability to get the best deal for an investment property. Now is the time to act!