Overseas buyers – and the global pull of prime London
The Year Ahead by Hugh Obbard 20/05/2023

An interesting article was published recently by one estate agent who, through a freedom of information request to Land Registry, established the following league table of current non UK-owned residential property:

• Hong Kong 13.2%
• Singapore 8.4%
• US 6.4%
• UAE 5.7%
• Ireland 5.3%
• Malaysia 5.2%
• China 4.6%
• Australia 4.4%
• Kuwait 4.3%
• France 3.7%

Within the last year, perhaps to no one’s surprise, the biggest jump (18.8%) has been from Chinese buyers.

But what I find interesting, and encouraging, is the relatively even geographical spread. It doesn’t even mention buyers from Italy, Turkey and Nigeria who seemed omnipresent over the last decade at differing times.

It also puts paid to the myth that the Russians bought up the UK over the last 10 years, the fact is they just made a big noise on a relatively small number of very high profile purchases. Their holding is down just 0.5% on the start of 2022 (probably made up of a dozen sanctioned or Putin assassinated billionaires).

The HK stat is clearly influenced by the BNO passport scheme, and the greater majority of those buyers will be outside of London. What this excludes of course are those properties held through SPVs and the like, although these will now tend to be more historic as such vehicles are not deemed effective anymore.

The Year Ahead by Hugh Obbard 20/05/2023
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