Hong Kong buyers seek to invest in London Housing Market

The real estate agents are reporting that Hong Kong buyers are investing in London’s prime housing market on above-average levels.

Beauchamp Estates London reports in its new wealth survey that over the past 6 months it has sold more than $374 million worth of luxury London residential property to Hong Kong buyers. Hong Kongers bought properties in all prime locations including Knightsbridge, Belgravia, and Islington.

These buyers are typically purchasing either new homes or historic properties with newly refurbished super-luxury interiors.

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Marcus O’Brien, of Beauchamp Estates Private Office, says in the report.

The sales include the “landmark” $264 million purchase of 2-8a Rutland Gate–a 45-bedroom mansion in Knightsbridge– and a 6-bedroom Belgravia Gate penthouse flat in Belgravia, both of which Hong Kong billionaires bought through Beauchamp Estates.

While the overall housing market has been recovering rapidly recently, the luxury London market has been relatively subdued. Estate agents are now reporting swelling interest following the UK government’s more relaxed immigration rules for the approximately three million Hong Kong residents with British National (Overseas) passports, a move that came in response to the new national security law that was imposed at the end of June.

Favourable foreign exchange rates and falling property prices are also driving interest. Chestertons, an upmarket estate agent, reported an 80% year-on-year increase in registrations from Hong Kong.

According to Knight Frank, a broker, prices for prime residential properties in London have declined 20% over last six years. That was with buyers from Hong Kong becoming less common over the last decade. However, that trend seems to be reversing now.

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One of the managing partners at Black Brick, Camilla Dell, said in an interview:

“Unlike wealthy buyers from the Middle East or the US, Hong Kongers are probably looking to relocate permanently to the UK. There will be potential for more buyers as a result of BNO holders being told they’re welcome with open arms.”

While London is generally regarded as an expensive place for property, it is considered relatively cheap by Hong Kong standards at $1,830 per square foot instead of $4,440, according to figures from Savills Plc for the month of June.

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