How the Chinese are looking at UK property post-lockdown | Catharine Che

Catharine Che| 车倩毓 Head of China Region

Regarding the effects of the Covid-19 Lockdown on incoming post-secondary student activity from China to the UK, existing students are making-do with online classes but have expressed missing out on the quality and efficiency of classroom teaching, in particular face to face communication with teachers and classmates. We are receiving questions about whether Chinese families will continue to send their children to the UK for education – and the answer is YES. However, it is too soon to tell the quantity.

In the short term, Coronavirus may have dampened our will to travel worldwide, and we do expect a certain reluctance to take long-haul flights. The English may fear going to the country of origin, and the Chinese may fear coming to the European hotspot where we are still in the throes of battling the virus. In the long term, there are other socio-economic and political factors at play. However, we are seeing a particularly swelling level of enquiries from Hong Kong looking at the UK as a potential “safe-haven” with the political uncertainties and the welcoming gesture made by Boris Johnson on the promises of citizenship.

For those students and families looking to emigrate out of China, achieving an education in the UK is still a desirable and valuable option. However; if we are considering Hong Kong’s situation with respect to political changes enforced by China, we may see a new wave of immigration via education.

From the Chinese perspective, UK has performed incredibly well to offer support during the lockdown and their prevention methods were also successful in flattening the curve. So will we see more Chinese students arriving to the UK post-Coronavirus any time soon? It might be a while.

Our China Desk has made a significant sale of £12 million over the lockdown period, and have continued to make strides with closing property investment deals where virtual viewings were sufficient to satisfy investor needs. While we know the bigger investors have been relatively minimally impacted, the investors with a more modest budget will wait to hedge their bets till the time they can fly over to view in person. We continue to provide a wealth of information, promoting our virtual viewings and virtual reality options to Chinese enquiries coming in from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vancouver; thus they gain a UK Sotheby’s International Realty education in UK real estate for both clients and buyers without the classroom setting.

London Dock, London


2 Bedrooms

Surrounded by a rewarding mix of modern style and iconic history, London Dock is situated in the heart of the capital, moments from Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, St Katharine Docks and the City. With a number of London underground and Docklands Light Railway stations within walking distance, London Dock offers quick and easy access to London’s main financial centres of the City and Canary Wharf, as well as the exciting cultural and creative neighbourhoods of Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Bermondsey.

Wapping is a truly authentic destination, filled with independent cafés and restaurants, which has for hundreds of years been a vibrant part of London life. The Prospect of Whitby – London’s oldest riverside pub – was popular with Charles Dickens, diarist Samuel Pepys and renowned artists Turner and Whistler. By the river, Hermitage Community Moorings attracts sailing barges, tugs and small boats, keeping alive Wapping’s river heritage.

Properties with Video Tours

The Tower, St Georges Wharf, London, SW8

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,252 Sq. Ft.

Video Tour
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Romney Street, Westminster , London, SW1P

3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,252 Sq. Ft.

Video Tour
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Owning a Private Island

From the UK to French Polynesia

For questions about the event email 

Recorded on Wednesday 13th May, 2020
1800h GMT | 0700h Tahiti

Join Guy Bradshaw, Director of London Residential at UK Sotheby’s International Realty, as we discuss the property market in French Polynesia. Jacques Menahem, Owner of French Polynesia Sotheby’s International Realty will give us an overview of the benefits of owning a private island, including price points, the right steps to take, and what to watch out for. Explore the benefits of having property in French Polynesia as we’ll answer questions about permanent residency vs. secondary home and island ownership. Find out what you need to know to invest, buy and rent property in that region.

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Guy Bradshaw
Director, Head of London Residential

Spotlight on The Chalfonts

The Chalfonts is the collective name for a group of charming villages in Buckinghamshire, not far to the north west of London. Incidentally, Chalfont means chalk spring, in reference to the water carrying capacities of the local terrain. This group of villages comprises Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles and Little Chalfont.

Chalfont St Peter is one of the largest villages in the United Kingdom due to the proximity of Gerrards Cross railway station, which lies between London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill on the Chiltern Main Line. The first major development of the village was in the Georgian era, however most of the original Georgian shops have been demolished although some still remain. Chalfont St Peter is often described as the Gateway to the Chiltern Hills. It has many places to stay, the most notable being The Greyhound, which is situated at the foot of the village on the banks of the River Misbourne. Chalfont St Peter has excellent transport links with easy access to the M25, M40 and both mainline and underground train stations into London.

Chalfont St Giles is a delightful village on the edge of the Chilterns in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is 21 miles (33.6 km) west-north-west of Charing Cross and central London, and it is near Chalfont St Peter, Little Chalfont and Amersham. Milton’s Cottage is in Chalfont St Giles, it was the former home of writer John Milton of Paradise Lost fame and is open to the public as the writer’s museum.

Chalfont St Giles is in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the edge of the Chiltern Hills. It has much to offer the visitor including sightseeing, refreshments and shopping. It also encompasses the smaller village of Jordans, famous as the last resting place of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, and his family.

Little Chalfont is a 20th-century creation made by the coming of the Metropolitan Railway. A station called Chalfont Road was opened in 1889. At that time, the area was remote from the centres of the villages and towns, and consisted of isolated farms and cottages, and did not have a specific name. The coming of the railway eventually brought local housing development, and a community developed around the station, which was renamed to Chalfont & Latimer station in 1915, a name which it retains today. In 1925 at the request of the inhabitants, it was agreed that the group of houses near the station should be named Little Chalfont instead of “Chalfont Road Village”.

For many years, Little Chalfont was split mainly in the Amersham Town Council area, and partly in Chalfont St Giles parish. In 2007 it became a village in its own right. The area benefits from both state and private schools with outstanding reputations and within easy reach. These schools include Dr Challoners Schools, Chesham High School and the Chalfonts Community College, as well a number of excellent infant schools, junior schools and nurseries and some great private schools.

The proximity and ease of access of the Chalfonts to the capital has made the area highly sort after and many luxury houses have emerged to attract the rich and famous to take up residence. UK Sotheby’s International Realty recognises the significance of this fact and are pleased to offer Chalfont Manor to the market.

The manor for sale with a £1-million home theatre

Chalfont Manor, Nightingales Lane, Chalfont St Giles


112 Bedrooms | 8 Bathrooms

Chalfont Manor is a Tudor style mansion manor house estate with an outstanding specification. The property has undergone a £5 million new build refurbishment to an exceptionally high standard, involving multi-award-winning designers. Further to the primary residence there is the West Wing, comprising two additional self-contained apartments. Additionally, there is a luxurious ultra-high-end entertainment complex, comprising games room, studio/office, ‘The Ultimate TV & Gaming Room’, and to top it all a £1 million Steinway cinema, thrown in for free, that is so phenomenally high-end that it has been independently rated as being ‘The Best Cinema in The UK’, has won the award of worldwide ‘Home Theater of The Month’ with AVSForum, and is a finalist for worldwide ‘Home Theater of The Year’ for 2020 (expected to win). Also featuring in another part of the property is a sizeable swimming pool and a sumptuous wine cellar.

John Fisher
Country House and Estate Sales 

t +44 1932 860 537 | m +44 7860 205 625

Postcard from | Copa Del Rey Sailing Competition

At the End of July, UK Sotheby’s International Realty attended the 38th Copa Del Rey Sailing regatta in Mallorca. We started by visiting a unique architectural masterpiece in the heart of exclusive Port Andratx – exquisite (elegant) and beautiful a stunning home called Villa Infinity. Upon entering the breathtaking living room the views hit you immediately, and as you come around the corner you look into a gorgeous, expansive pool deck terrace with the infinity pool, relaxation areas, outdoor kitchen and Mediterranean garden. The Impact of the architect’s creativity and developer’s experience blend together seamlessly. Stepping onto the balcony of the master bedroom – the view over this iconic part of the island is completely breath-taking. It is an honour and privilege to be representing such a property to our clients. It’s a real treasure for the true connoisseurs of luxury lifestyle, a treasure that goes in harmony with the authentic style and wild island nature.

Infinity, Port AndratxThere are not enough words to describe what a pleasure it was to attend the 38th Copa Del Rey sailing competition in the waters of the bay of Palma de Mallorca. Relish, rejoice, and breath-taking come to mind. From the yacht of the main sponsors, we discussed industry changing projects with the members of the worldwide team. Watching strongly synergized teams enjoy their passion for sailing and competition along with the King of Spain was a truly delightful and inspirational experience. Sharing a long Spanish lunch on the bow of the yacht with the representatives of the global brand from USA, UK, Russia and Spain, I got the strong feeling of affiliation and union. Having the opportunity to see so many diverse people sharing common values and fundamental principles, passionate energy and professionalism makes me believe that our collaborations will inspire creativity and high-quality service. Such experience gives the fulfilling sense of being a part of truly international movement, that unites thousands of people under the roof of one home. It’s inspirational to know that we are all together and we are the real global team.

Over the course of the week we attended striking events for sponsors and participants of the sailing competition in the beautiful club El Nautico. I was lucky to meet and have a long profound conversation with the owner of this terrific restaurant chain; he puts an unbelievable amount of dedication, and hard work into his business and this annual event. I found out for you that he is planning to spoil Londoners with his new restaurant in the near future watch this space!

Magnificent: the level of delicious food, live music and first class service. This is what we are a part of.

Polina Schepetkova
UK Sotheby’s International Realty




London Update | Dollar and RMB buyers driving investment to London

Lillie Square, Earls Court – from £835,000

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.

Guy Bradshaw
Director, Head of London Residential

London Market Update – Spring 2019

The London market continues to offer opportunity in what can be described as an opinionated market place. Whichever social environment you may find yourself in, it is often not too long before the property market comes up as a topic of conversation. Should I buy? Should I sell? Is now the right time? We have seen an influx of overseas investors looking for value against currency, buyer FOMO (Fear of missing out) is prevalent and we are confident that our buyers now are all going to be saying to us and themselves:- “I made the right decision to buy in 2019!”

Dollar based buyers continue to see London as an opportunity to get value in a market that historically may not have been perceived as one for buy-to-let investment. However, with good quality inventory and certain discounts available, there are opportunities for savvy investment. The end of the first quarter was busy with transactions from £500k through to in-excess of £10 million across Central London. Buyer profiles remained both domestic and overseas, with USA, China and UK the top three in terms of nationality. As a business we continue to provide our clients access to Global Markets where other brands may not have the same reach, and this year already has seen us visit New York, China, Taiwan, Miami, Madrid and Vancouver to showcase London.

With Brexit having been extended through and potentially up to end of October this year, the short-term view from many are: ‘now is the time to get on with things’! The Telegraph recently reported that the average new-to-the-market properties increased by an average of 1.1 per cent and this is the biggest month-on-month increase in the past 12 months. However, it is worth noting that the uncertain political backdrop does hold back the market with new instructions coming in and the number of sales agreed all below this time last year. Sotheby’s International Realty, however, buck this trend with more than 3 times the amount of sales agreed in Central London than this time last year – with 75% of these buyers seizing their opportunity for value!

By Guy Bradshaw
Director, Head of London Residential