Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder – Overseas Buyers Return to London Ready to Spend
After a pandemic-enforced estrangement, international buyers have made the most of the easing of travel restrictions to return to the UK market, in a big boost to London developers. The Evening Standard has profiled an American couple who are moving from Hong Kong to Marylebone. They are just one example of the returning interest from overseas – Camilla Dell, buying agent and managing partner at Black Brick, claims to have had an influx of phone calls from September, with clients based across North America, Africa and the Middle East.
This has understandably prompted the talk of property prices rising in central London. Despite the number of overseas buyers dropping from around half to a quarter of all prime central London property sales, prices remained flat. There is now expected to be an 8% annual price growth next year.
Interestingly, airport activity is used to indicate action from overseas buyers – namely Farnborough Airport (arrivals and departures from the luxury airport were up 62% compared to September 2020) and Heathrow Airport’s Emirates Lounge reopening.
In-demand areas for the affluent buyers include Kensington, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Bayswater and Marylebone, especially properties with views of London’s parks. Reasons for interest include Covid-secure accommodation when they are in town, the opportunity for investment and even as student accommodation for their children – certainly not your typical uni accommodation!