Asian investors continue to acquire large volumes of property in London

By Catherine Rowell

Despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations, Asian investors are still focused on buying up a large volume of London’s property market, according to research by real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield.

With past demand being predominately from the Middle East, the demand for residential and commercial property in London is at a five-year high, and has led to half of the current agreed sales in the first half of the year by Asian investors, totalling £8.8 billion. With a fall in the sterling amidst growing uncertainties, the desire for London property remains steady, with firms highlighting a significant increase in interest from China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Reese Ye, Head of China Desk at Kingsley Hamilton Estates explains: “We have seen an increasing number of Chinese investors coming to the UK. The low currency rate not only means that the UK’s housing price is more preferable in the eye of overseas buyers, it also encourages more parents to choose the UK as the education destination for their children. In fact, 70 percent of our Chinese clients purchasing property in the UK have children either studying or working here. We estimate that the purchasing power of Chinese buyers in the UK will continue to be strong.”

Real estate search engine has also supported this growing interest, where enquiries surrounding the London property market has rocketed by over 50 percent.

James Beckham, Head of London Capital Markets, Cushman & Wakefield, commented: “The recent high-profile visit to Hong Kong by the Chinese President to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover is a timely reminder of the region's impact.

Asia Pac investors from across the entire region dominated the London market in the first half of this year and are set to continue with strong ongoing interest in assets right across the risk spectrum.”

Asian businesses are further seeking to grow their businesses in the capital. Hong Kong company CC Land Holdings’ made headline news through its purchase of the Cheesegrater for over £1 billion, the largest deal the city had seen since 2014. This is alongside the companies purchase of One Kingdom Street for £300 million.

The acquisition has therefore led to further acquisitions, such as China Resources Ltd acquisition of 20 Gresham Street for £315 million and Ho Bee Land’s acquisition of 67 Lombard Street for over £120 million.


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