Overseas property buyers were responsible for more than half of prime property purchases in London during the last six months of 2018.
According to the latest buyer and seller survey from Hamptons International, 57 per cent of prime Central London properties were bought by international buyers in this period. This was the highest proportion since the second half of 2012, when 58 per cent of sales in this market went to overseas property buyers.
According to Hampton, one of the main reasons for this increase is due to due to a fall in UK buyers, together with an increase in EU purchasers.
In spite of Brexit fears, EU buyers have regained their position as the largest foreign group of overseas property buyers, purchasing 19 per cent of all homes in prime central London, which includes in-demand spots such as Chelsea, Mayfair, Victoria and Marylebone.
“Sterling’s weakness, making it cheaper for many international buyers, seems to be outweighing Brexit uncertainty,” said Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons. ““A property that would have cost an EU buyer £1m in the first half of 2016 effectively cost £124,000 less in the second half of last year due to sterling’s depreciation.”
However, the proportion of homes bought by Middle Eastern buyers has nearly halved over the last year from 15 per cent in the second half of 2017 to 8 per cent in the second half of 2018.
Elsewhere, the proportion of homes bought by buyers from India increased by 3%, while the number of buyers from Russia and Hong Kong both increased by 1%.
Across Greater London the proportion of overseas property buyers also hit its highest level in six years, hitting 31 per cent in the second half of last year.
Article published 18th February 2019